MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. – Home runs, great pitching and late-inning drama – the Fayetteville SwampDogs Monday night matchup with the Morehead City Marlins had a little bit of everything. When the dust settled, it was the SwampDogs beating the Marlins, 9-4.
Things got started quickly for the SwampDogs, when Branden Boggetto (Jr./Southeast Missouri) clobbered the first pitch he saw from Kurt Lipscomb over the wall in left field for his first home run of the season.
The Marlins wasted no time in evening the score off Aaron Lesiak (Soph./Presbyterian) in the third inning, when Christian Campbell came through with an RBI single, evening the score at one each.
Lesiak was terrific other than that one blemish, hurling six innings, allowing just the one run on four hits, walking one and striking out nine. The nine strikeouts are the most of any pitcher in a single game for the SwampDogs this season.
The Dogs would take the lead back in the top of the fourth, when KiJana Madden (Fr./Spartanburg Methodist) doubled to right centerfield plating Boggetto. Madden would swipe third base and come in to score when Zak Orrison (Jr./Mount Olive) chopped one through a drawn-in infield to make it 3-1.
The Marlins fought hard and in the bottom of the seventh, their toughness paid off as they plated three runs against Nolan Mullen (Soph./Furman), with the big hit being a Luke Bolka two-run home run.
But the SwampDogs had some fight in them as well, plating the equalizer in the top of the eighth inning, when Cam Whitehead (Soph./Furman) laced a triple to right field to start off the inning. The next batter, Madden, hit a sacrifice fly to left field that Bolka dropped for a two-base error and the game was tied at four.
In the top of the ninth inning, Tanner Woods (Soph./Chowan) drew a leadoff walk and was advanced on a Chris Lowe (Fr./Indiana) groundout. A walk to Boggetto would put runners on first and second with one out for Whitehead, who beat out an infield single to load the bases.
Madden came up to the plate and shot the ball off the glove of Christian Campbell at third base bringing two runs home to make it 6-4 SwampDogs. A single by Mitch Roman (Jr./Wright State) and a throwing error from Noah Cummings allowed Whitehead to score to make it 7-4. Sky Overton (Soph./Furman) singled to center to plate Madden and Roman to bring the score to 9-4.
Kodi Whitley (Soph./Mount Olive) was dominant out of the bullpen, going 2.2 innings, striking out seven en route to the victory, improving his season record to 2-0. Keller Bradford was pinned with the loss, falling to 1-1. The SwampDogs staff struck out a season-high 17 batters.
The SwampDogs (6-5) are back in action at “The Swamp” tomorrow night on Hope Mills Night when the ‘Dogs host the Petersburg Generals. Reserve your tickets now by calling 910-426-5900.
The Fayetteville SwampDogs are in their 15th season playing in the Coastal Plain League. The SwampDogs are one of the most successful franchises in the league’s history, making the Petitt Cup Playoffs eight times in the past 10 seasons, reaching the championship round three times. The SwampDogs boast 84 alumni taken in the draft and have produced six players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball including slugger Mark Reynolds and David Aardsma. For more information on the Fayetteville SwampDogs, visit their team website at www.goswampdogs.com and follow us on Twitter @GoSwampDogs and like us on Facebook at Fayetteville SwampDogs Baseball. Where baseball is fun!