Thomasville, N.C. – The Morehead City Marlins (36-14) earned the franchise's first-ever Petitt Cup Championship win in an 11-6 triumph over the High Point-Thomasville HiToms (36-15) at Finch Field. The Marlins return to Big Rock Stadium on Friday at 7:05 p.m. with a chance to clinch the best of three series.
Jake Lewis (UNC-Greensboro) made his fourth start of the season and tossed six strong innings. The left-hander allowed only four hits and posted six strikeouts. Lewis improved to 2-0 following Thursday night's win.
With two outs in the top of the third, Alex Pimentel (Southwestern Oklahoma) laced a single through the infield. Will Johnson (Eastern Kentucky) then knocked his eighth double of the summer that scored Pimentel as the first Marlin run of the game, tying the score 1-1. Craig Lewis (Seton Hill) brought Johnson on a single to left-center field to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead.
Just an inning later, Morehead City tacked on another run off of Hunter Shepherd's (Catawba College) sixth home run of the summer.
A one-out single from Pimentel in the fifth was followed by a wild pitch that advanced the junior to second base. Danton Hyman (Newberry College) notched a RBI single to push the Marlins lead to 4-1.
Shepherd drew a walk to begin the Marlins half of the sixth inning. Colin Allman (Newberry College) and Brendan Dougherty (Bradley University) each singled to bring Shepherd into score. Dougherty posted the clubs sixth run of the game after scoring on a wild pitch. A grounder from Morehead City native Joe Mason (Pitt CC) was mishandled in the middle infield, allowing Johnson to score and give Morehead City an 8-1 lead.
Zach Barnes (East Carolina University) came on in the seventh inning for his 13th appearance of the summer. Barnes struck out 3-of-10 HiTom batters he faced.
After the HiToms added two runs back on a home run, the visitors answered back in the top of the eighth inning. Johnson lined a pitch back up the middle for his second hit of the night. Mason followed by blasting his sixth home run of the season over the left field wall to push the Marlins lead to seven.
Allman singled to lead off the top of the ninth inning, which was followed by a Chaston Gordon (Pfeiffer University) doubled off the manual scoreboard in the left field. A fielder's choice ground ball from Johnson scored to add an insurance run, giving the Marlins an 11-6 advantage.
Brandon Marklund (Bryan College) made his team-most 25 appearance in the ninth. The senior struck out the side to earn his sixth save this season and secure the Game 1 win for Morehead City.
Team Records: Morehead City (37-14), High Point-Thomasville (36-15)
News & Notes:
- In the Marlins first-ever Finals Game, the club won their first Petitt Cup Championship Game and hold 1-0 lead in the best of three series.
- Morehead City moves to 37-14 overall and 19-9 record on the road.
- 31-0 when leading after the seventh inning.
- In games with 10+ hits the Marlins are 12-0.
- Morehead City is 3-0 all-time against the HiToms.
Morehead City will returns to Big Rock Stadium on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. for Game 2 of the Petitt Cup Championship Series. Tickets can be purchased for the contest here.