HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. – The Fayetteville SwampDogs won a nailbiter of a contest with the Holly Springs Salamanders 10-8 Sunday evening at Salamanders Stadium.
The game was a scoreless tie until the fourth inning, when the SwampDogs got on the board courtesy of a home run for Austin Upshaw (Fr./Kennesaw State), his third of the season.
The Salamanders scored a run in the bottom of the fourth, after Jacob Shumate (Soph./Francis Marion) walked two, and Xyruse Martinez lifted a sac fly to right field.
In the top of the fifth, the SwampDogs answered back in a big way, plating three, with the big hit being a two-run triple from Mitch Roman (Jr./Wright State). The triple extended Roman’s hitting streak to eight games.
Holly Springs chipped away, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth against Nolan Mullen (Soph./Furman) to make the score 4-3 ‘Dogs through five.
Ross Gardner (Fr./East Carolina) loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh inning, and when the dust finally settled, the Salamanders owned a 7-4 lead.
In the top of the eighth inning, the SwampDogs fought back, with two errors and a wild pitch contributed to three runs coming in to score against Jonathan Piriz to even the score at 7. Gardner settled down and retired the Salamanders in order in the eighth.
In the top of the ninth, Jimmy Faul (Jr./Louisville) led off by drawing a walk, then Upshaw singled on a hit-and-run play. Zak Orrison (Jr./Mount Olive) who came on in the bottom of the eighth inning as a defensive replacement doubled to bring in Faul. Demetrius Webb (Fr./Indiana) laid down a squeeze bunt to score Upshaw from third.
The next batter, Alex Liquori (Jr./Kennesaw State) dropped a single into centerfield to plate Orrison and make the score 10-7 SwampDogs.
Ryan Stamler (Fr./The Citadel) came on to start the ninth inning, and struggled, facing four batters and allowing a run before giving way to Alex Siddle (Jr./Southeast Missouri). Siddle was able to hunker down and seal the victory.
Gardner was credited with the win, improving to 1-0 on the season. Collin Woody got the loss for the Salamanders, falling to 1-2 on the year. Siddle’s save was his second of the summer.
The SwampDogs (12-14) are back in action Monday as they travel to take on the Morehead City Marlins at 7:05 pm in their first-half finale.
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 90 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!
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 19th season in 2015, the CPL features 15 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. The CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 79 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.