Splendid Start Ends Sadly for SwampDogs

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The SwampDogs got five no-hit innings out of starting pitcher Aaron Lesiak (Soph./Presbyterian) but they were done in by the Morehead City Marlins on Opening Night at “The Swamp,” falling 7-4 Tuesday night.

Things got off to a good start offensively for the SwampDogs, when they plated three runs without in the bottom of the second inning against Marlins right-hander Andrew Burnick (Jr./Pennsylvania). The ‘Dogs were able to draw two walks and were hit by a pitch twice in the inning, and got the help of a RBI fielder’s choice by Zak Orrison (Jr./Mount Olive) and a wild pitch from Burnick.

The SwampDogs led 3-0 until the top of the sixth inning, when Nolan Mullen (Soph./Furman) struggled and allowed four runs to score.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the SwampDogs briefly tied the score at 4-4, when Orrison stole third base then came home to score when Marlins catcher Dominick Cammirata (Fr./Tennessee) threw the ball away.

The tie would not last for long, as the Marlins touched up Will Bice (Fr./Kennesaw State) for three runs in the top of the eighth.

The SwampDogs fall to 0-1 on the season, while the Marlins improve to 1-0. Zach Reid (Fr./Tennessee, 1-0) got the win for Morehead City, and Bice (0-1) took the loss. Tyler Gunnin (Jr./West Georgia) allowed the potential winning run to come to the plate in the ninth, but earned his first save of the season.

The SwampDogs are back in action tomorrow night against the Edenton Steamers at Historic Hicks Field in Edenton, N.C. They return home to “The Swamp” for a Thursday night matchup with the Forest City Owls on May 28th. To reserve your seats now, call the SwampDogs at 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.

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.

Photo credit Wanda West/East to West Photography.