Morehead City, N.C. - - - The Morehead City Marlins posted another strong offensive effort with nine runs on 14 hits; however, the Marlins dropped a tough 16-9 decision to the visiting Wilmington Sharks from Puck O'Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium Monday evening. Wilmington scored 10 out of its 16 runs all with two outs in the contest.
Morehead City is now 0-1 overall in the second half (13-16), while Wilmington improves to 1-1 (14-15). The Marlins begin a two-game road trip, traveling to Fleming Stadium tomorrow night to face the Wilson Tobs before facing the Wilmington Sharks from Legion Stadium Wednesday evening. Both first pitches are scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start.
MHC center fielder Sammy Miller (Longwood) led the Marlins offensive efforts, finishing 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. Second baseman Steven Taylor (Mercer) went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while designated hitter Will Matthiessen (Stanford) posted a 2-for-3 mark with two RBIs, including his first home run of the season.
For Wilmington, left fielder Michael Sandle (South Alabama) topped Sharks offensive charts with a 4-for-7 effort at the plate with a game-high four runs scored and three RBIs. Shortstop Luke Morgan (College of Charleston) led all batters with four RBIs, finishing 2-for-4 with a trio of runs scored. Designated hitter Trevor McCutchin (Oral Roberts) contributed a 2-for-5 mark with three runs driven in.
The Sharks never trailed or tied in the contest, starting the game quickly with three runs in the opening frame to grab the early 3-0 advantage. The inning was highlighted by a RBI triple from Sandle to put Wilmington on the board just two batters into the contest. The Marlins answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning on a two-RBI single from Derek Olenchuk (Newberry) to trim the margin down to 3-2.
Wilmington stretched the lead out to 5-2 on a two-run homer from Morgan in the top of the second inning followed by a pair of runs from Morehead City in the bottom half to cut the deficit down to 5-4. Chandler Corley (Armstrong State) ripped a sacrifice fly before Miller tallied a RBI single to put the hosts within one run at the end of the second frame.
All with two outs in the top of the third inning, the Sharks offense exploded with six runs to take a commanding 11-4 lead. The scoring flurry began with a solo shot from Brian Parreira (USC Aiken), which was later followed by a bases-clearing double from McCutchin to open the offensive floodgates.
Wilmington tallied a pair of insurance runs in the top of the fourth inning to extend the lead out to 13-4 before the Marlins responded with five unanswered scores to trim the margin down to 13-9 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Matthiessen ripped a RBI single in the fifth frame to end the scoring run for Wilmington, making it a 13-5 game.
In the home half of the sixth inning, Miller posted a RBI single with him and Kyle Skeels (Coastal Carolina) both scored on an error by the first baseman to trim the margin down to 13-8. Matthiessen soon clubbed his first home run of the summer in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the Marlins within four runs.
The Sharks would not allow Morehead City to cut the deficit any further, scoring three more insurance runs in the top of the eighth and ninth innings to push the advantage out to 16-9. Luke Morgan retired the Marlins in the bottom frame of the ninth to secure the victory.
Wilmington starting right-handed pitcher Noah Michael (South Alabama) got the win, improving to 2-1. Marlins starting righty Zach Usselman (NC State) took the loss, falling to 0-1. The MHC relief pitching combination of Cody Boydstun (Longwood), Anthony Holubecki (Notre Dame) and Charlie King (Davidson) led the Marlins staff with a combined three scoreless innings, allowing two hits with four strikeouts.
Following the two-game road trip, the Marlins will have an off-day Thursday before traveling to Holly Springs Friday evening (6/7) to face the Salamanders at the North Main Athletic Complex. Morehead City returns home to Big Rock Stadium, hosting the Fayetteville SwampDogs Saturday night, July 8. All first pitches are scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start.
About the CPL
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 95 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball