It was a baseball lover’s idea of a great night out. The Fayetteville SwampDogs came out on top of the pitcher’s duel in Wilmington against the Sharks 2-1. Matt Acosta (Cal St. Northridge) (1-0) picked up his first win, while Luke Gesell (UNC Wilmington) falls to 1-1.
In the bottom of the first inning the Sharks got going with a Justin Dean (Lenoir Rhyne) triple. On the next pitch Luke Morgan grounded out to plate Wilmington’s on run.
From that point on, the Sharks offense could only muster four more hits, two of which belonged to Justin Dean who finished 3-4 on the night.
The Dogs would remain silent until the 5th inning. Following a walk issued to Juwan Burney (Delta State), Jonathan Allen (San Francisco) crushed a shot over the right field wall to plate the SwampDogs only 2 runs of the night.
After that, it was absolute shut down pitching by the Fayetteville staff. Lefties Zach Neff (Austin Peay) and Ryan Holloway (Air Force) threw a combined 3.2 innings and struck out eight.
In the bottom of the ninth, Dom Cuoci (Saint Joseph’s) hit a 2 out double to put the tying run in scoring position. However, Ben Highfill (Liberty) then popped up to Nic Perkins (Drury) in foul territory to end the game.
The SwampDogs are now 5-4 on the year and 3-1 against the Sharks. The loss drops Wilmington to 4-5 on the season and 0-4 at Buck Hardee Field.
The SwampDogs return home Monday night to face the Savannah Bananas. Gates open at 6pm with first pitch at 7:05pm. Don’t miss your chance to go bananas!