The Fayetteville SwampDogs had another close game with the Wilmington Sharks, but this time they fell short on the wrong end of a 3-1 game.
The Sharks slowly piled on their three runs in the first three innings as a night at “The Shark Tank” proved to be a pitchers duel. Kevin Archbold (University at Albany) took the mound for the Dogs against the Coastal Plain League’s Week One Pitcher of the Week, Travis Connolly.
Archbold pitched an eight inning complete game while allowing three runs on eight hits. Though he suffered his first loss of the season, he looked stronger as the innings rolled on and the lefty struck out four batters in his last three innings of work.
Wilmington found a way to string hits together early and give Connolly a 3-0 cushion in a game that only lasted two hours.
Fayetteville won innings four through nine and the team’s best inning to chip away at the lead was the seventh. Mitchell Kranson (University of California-Berkeley) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. With one out, Kranson was gunned down trying to steal second. The next two batters came through with their at-bats as Michael Timm (Wright State) doubled to right field and Brian Celsi (University of California-Berkeley) drove him in with a base knock through the right side.
Celsi looked more relaxed at the plate after head coach Darrell Handelsman moved him from second to sixth in the batting order last night to relieve some pressure off one of the best bats in the Coastal Plain League. He finished his night batting 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Despite working a lot of counts, Connolly kept his composure on the mound and he did not allow a walk in his seven innings on the hill.
The SwampDogs are in search of their tenth win tonight as they host a double-header against the Florence RedWolves starting at 6:05 p.m.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 17th season in 2013, the CPL features 14 teams playing 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. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,000 alumni drafted and 63 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.