Fayetteville, N.C. — For the first time in the history of baseball as well as the 20-year history of the Coastal Plain League, all nine players in the SwampDogs lineup played all nine positions. However, the matchup between the Kernersville Bulldogs and Fayetteville SwampDogs ended in a 5-5 tie at the end of the 10th inning.
Kernersville struck first in the top of the first to gain the early 1-0 advantage. The SwampDogs would get a run back in the bottom frame on an RBI single from first inning pitcher Tyler Tharp (VMI) to knot the ballgame at 1-1.
The Bulldogs re-gained the lead in the top of the second to make it a 2-1 game. The visitors extended their advantage to 5-1 with three scores in the top frame of the fourth inning.
However, the ‘Dogs would rally back for four runs to even the score at 5-5. The scoring began in the home half of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly for first baseman Kaesen Wilson (NC A&T) to trim the deficit to 5-2.
A big two-run inning came from the SwampDogs in the bottom of the sixth on a run-scoring single from third baseman Dan Leckie (Lafayette) to make it a 5-3 ballgame. An RBI groundout from sixth inning right fielder Tyson Petersheim (Lock Haven) cut the Fayetteville deficit down to one run at 5-4.
Fayetteville would tie the game once again at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of eighth inning right fielder Matt Jeffrey (Frostburg State).
Jeffrey entered the ninth inning on the mound for the ‘Dogs in an abnormal position as he normally accompanies third base. However, Jeffrey would come through in the clutch and fired a pick-off attempt to first base to get the lead runner out after a lead-off single from Kernersville. Jeffrey would also earn his first strikeout of the evening and escape the jam to keep the game tied.
In the Fayetteville ninth, SwampDogs had runners on first and second base with nobody out after a walk from ninth inning third baseman David Summerfield (Millersville) and a bunt single from Wilson who played left field in the ninth inning. However, Kernersville would retire the SwampDogs with no damage and keep the score at 5-5.
We go to the Kernersville half of the tenth inning with right-handed pitcher Bailey Garfield (CVCC) at his normal position on the bump. Despite allowing a one-out double, Garfield was able to get out of the visiting half of the tenth with no runs scored.
The SwampDogs would have runners on first and second base with nobody out, but the Bulldogs pitching staff was able to hold on for the tie.
Fayetteville pitching allowed 11 total walks on the evening due to nine different pitchers throughout the ballgame; however, the pitching staff came through down the stretch. Despite five different pitchers throwing off the mound in an abnormal situation, the SwampDogs were able to shut down the Kernersville offense with no runs allowed from the top of the fifth inning until the conclusion of the game.
A fun, memorable evening from The Swamp comes to an epic conclusion as we enter the final games of the 2016 season. The SwampDogs will have an off-day tomorrow, but will be back in action on the road Monday night against the Holly Spring Salamanders. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. The ‘Dogs will return home on Thursday, August 4th when they face the Asheboro Copperheads. Come out for the Bring Memories Home Safe promotion presented by Fayetteville Walk To End Alzheimer’s. Unique purple jerseys will be auctioned off following the game to benefit the Walk To End Alzheimer’s. First at 7:05 p.m. Make sure to reserve your seat for the final fireworks extravaganza of the summer on Friday, August 5th!