LEXINGTON, S.C. – For the second straight night, the Fayetteville SwampDogs came from behind in the late innings to defeat their opponent, dispatching the Lexington County Blowfish 5-4 at Lexington County Baseball Stadium Friday night.
The Blowfish (3-1) got off to a quick start, plating two runs in the first inning off of SwampDogs starting pitcher Will Bice (Fr./Kennesaw State). The ‘Dogs offense wasted no time answering back – striking for two runs in the top of the second inning.
Alex Liquori (Jr./Kennesaw State) drove a double to left field to lead off the inning, and two batters later, Bligh Madris (Fr./Colorado Mesa) drove him home with a single. The very next batter, Tanner Woods (Soph./Chowan), doubled to left to drive home Madris.
The Blowfish struck for two more runs off Bice in the bottom of the second to take a 4-2 lead, but the SwampDogs (2-2) would chip away, finally taking the lead for the first time in the top of the seventh inning.
Austin Upshaw (Fr./Kennesaw State) singled with one out then Mike Deese (Jr./The Citadel) beat out an infield single. A walk to Cam Whitehead (Soph./Furman) loaded the bases with two outs for Madris. He would work out a walk to drive in Upshaw to give the ‘Dogs a 5-4 lead.
The offense wouldn’t be able to comeback if not for the SwampDogs bullpen, led by Nick Miceli (Soph./Wesleyan (Conn.)) and Kodi Whitley (Soph./Mount Olive). At one point, Miceli retired 10 consecutive batters, and the bullpen as a whole finished the game by retiring 20 of the final 22 Blowfish batters.
Offensively, Upshaw collected three hits for the SwampDogs, and Woods collected two extra base hits, the double and a triple in the sixth inning. KiJana Madden (Fr./Spartanburg Methodist) extended his season-long hitting streak to four games with a bunt single in the eighth inning.
Miceli (1-0) earned the victory for the SwampDogs, while Reece Burnett (0-1) was tagged for the loss for the Blowfish. Austin Mason (Jr./The Citadel) got the save (1), pitching the game’s final inning.
The SwampDogs are back in action tomorrow night as they host the Morehead City Marlins at 7:05 pm. It’s the first fireworks extravaganza of the season presented by H&H Homes and Coldwell Banker, and don’t miss the pre-game demonstration by the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team. 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.