Holly Springs, N.C. - - - Holly Springs first baseman Zach Piazza (Limestone) tallied a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Morehead City Marlins fell to the host Holly Springs Salamanders in a heartbreaking 4-3 decision from Ting Stadium at the North Main Athletic Complex Friday evening. The MHC pitching staff held the Salamanders scoreless for six consecutive innings before the hosts posted the game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Morehead City is now 0-3 in the second half (13-18 overall), while Holly Springs improves to 3-2 (14-19 overall). The Marlins conclude the pre All-Star Game portion of their schedule tomorrow evening when they host the CPL East first half champion Fayetteville SwampDogs from Puck O'Neal at Big Rock Stadium. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. with all the play-by-play action being called on the CPL Webpass. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. on the Marlins Radio Network.
MHC second baseman Nick Podkul (Notre Dame) topped the Marlins offensive charts, finishing 2-for-4 with one run scored. Shortstop Randy Perez (Central Methodist) went 1-for-5 with a team-leading three RBIs in his Morehead City debut. For Holly Springs, second baseman Jacob Jaye (VMI) tallied a 2-for-3 effort with two runs scored and a RBI, while right fielder Adam Sisk (James Madison) went 3-for-5 in the contest.
In his Marlins debut, Perez hit a ground ball under the glove of Jaye at second base to score Chandler Corley (Armstrong State) and give the visitors an early 1-0 advantage in the top of the first inning. Holly Springs answered with a pair of scores in the bottom half of the second inning on a two-run triple from Tripp Shelton (UNC Greensboro) to put the Salamanders ahead 2-1.
Morehead City responded in the top frame of the fourth inning on a two-RBI single from Perez to give the Marlins a 3-2 advantage. Neither team would score until the bottom of the ninth inning when Jaye clubbed the game-tying home run over the right field wall to even the score at 3-3.
The Marlins played in just their second extra-inning contest of the 2017 campaign with the Salamanders leading-off the home half of the 10th inning with a triple from Josh Hollander (Kent State). Two batters later, Piazza ripped the walk-off single to right-center field scoring Hollander to to secure the thrilling one-run victory for the hosts.
Holly Springs left-handed reliever Matt Cronin (Arkansas) got the win, improving to 1-1. Morehead City righty reliever Will Matthiessen (Stanford) took the loss, falling to 0-1. Matthiessen allowed his first earned run of the season on the game-tying homer after pitching 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to begin the summer with eight strikeouts. Marlins lefty Octavio Mirabal (King University) posted a stellar outing in relief, tossing four innings of shut-out baseball with two hits allowed and five strikeouts.
The Marlins will have four days off following tomorrow night's home meeting versus the Fayetteville SwampDogs. The 2017 CPL All-Star Game will take place on Sunday and Monday evening before the Marlins have consecutive off-days on Monday (July 11) and Tuesday (July 12) to conclude the All-Star break. Podkul and Corley will represent the Marlins this weekend in Holly Springs with Podkul participating in the CPL All-Star Home Run Derby Sunday night.
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