Fayetteville Inches Closer to First Place

The Fayetteville SwampDogs edge the Morehead City Marlins 7-6 in an unbelievable weekend baseball game.

The Marlins got off to a quick start to their Saturday evening with three extra base hits in the first three innings, including a two-out solo home run to the deepest part of J.P. Riddle Stadium by Jacob Hoyle (Western Carolina). Hoyle’s solo shot must have travelled 415 feet to clear the center field fence against Ben Burns (Georgia State). Morehead City took a 4-0 lead after three and a half innings.

The SwampDogs would respond in the bottom of the fourth as they strung together four straight base runners and Chad Whitehead drove in two runs with a single through the right side to make it a 4-4 ballgame.

Thanks to a one-out double by Jeff Kammer (Jefferson College), the Marlins would regain the 5-4 lead. The SwampDogs used some two-out heroics to take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the eighth.

With nobody on base, Ryan Nagle (Illinois) and Chase Rader (Coffeyville Community College) singled through the right side. Right fielder Brian Celsi (California) singled up the middle to drive in the tying and go-ahead run, giving him 16 RBIs on the season.

The next two at bats were arguably bigger than Celsi’s lead changing single because Whitehead walked and Bill Bereszniewicz (Binghamton) drove in an extra insurance run before the inning was over.

With a 7-5 lead, Bereszniewicz RBI proved to be the eventual game winner as Andrew LaMura (East Carolina) homered over the second tier wall in left field to make it a 7-6 game.

Blackburn would come in the game to record the final two outs to give the SwampDogs the 7-6 victory. Fayetteville now stands at 2.5 games back of Edenton for the lead in the Eastern Division and they will face the Steamers later this week.

The Dogs will get a much needed day off on Sunday before taking the field Monday night at 7:05 p.m. against Team USA.

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.