FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The SwampDogs were down, but as this season continues it’s become clear, they were never out. In front of over 4,000 screaming Faynatics, Fayetteville (20-10) trailed the Edenton Steamers (17-12) by 6 after four innings, before finally taking one back before Austin Edgette (Bloomsburg) doubled down the right-field line to bring home Juwan Burney (Delta State University) cutting the deficit down to 5.
In the 6th inning, the SwampDogs lit up the scoreboard beginning with a base knock from Matt Morrow (Wright State). Jayson Newman (Cal State Northridge) followed Morrow with a base hit of his own. Justin Hawkins followed up his two home run performance at Wilmington with another big night, bringing Morrow home on a seeing-eye single back up the middle pulling the SwampDogs even closer at 6-2. Newman then alertly advanced to an uncovered third base only to see home plate also unguarded allowing the SwampDogs first baseman to advance all the way from second to home with the baseball in the infield the entire time to cut the lead to 6-3.
After a Steamers pitching change, Trent Franson (TCU) walked setting up an Andrew Henrickson (East Carolina) single that Hawkins scored on continuing a rally from five down to now two down. Burney tacked on another RBI on the night dropping a bloop single into the outfield that Franson scored on to pull the SwampDogs within one.
Braedon Barrett (Tulane) came to the plate slumping but busted out of it by putting the ball in play for a groundout that allowed Henrickson to score the fifth run of the inning and tie the game at 6. Burney would then score on a passed ball that escaped the glove of Edenton’s catcher Jason Agresti, giving the SwampDogs their first lead of the night. The SwampDogs would add a seventh run in the inning as Austin Edgette would score while Matt Morrow ran between first and second in a pickle as each batter reached safely twice during the 6th inning. After all was said and done in the sixth inning, the SwampDogs would amass 7 runs on 5 hits to take an 8-6 lead into the 7th inning.
Fayetteville would carry that lead into the 8th inning only to see the Steamers tie up the ball game in the top half of the inning. However, as has been the case during the entire seven game, the SwampDogs generated offense when they needed it most.
Edenton brought in their closer Nick Spear (Mercer) to hold the tie in the 8th. He would not as a base hit from Andrew Henrickson and three wild pitches would bring home the Fayetteville native for the deciding 9th run of the game.
Justice Sampson (NC Central) would pick up the win (2-1), in 1.2 innings pitched and two strikeouts. Spear (0-1) took his first loss of the year over one inning of work allowing one unearned run on his three wild pitches in the 8th inning.
The SwampDogs return to the Swamp on Thursday for their Summer Spooktacular against the Wilmington Sharks. The gates will open at 6 with first pitch at 7:05. For all your SwampDogs news and updates please visit GoSwampDogs.com and follow us on Twitter @GoSwampDogs. The SwampDogs season is presented by Fayetteville Kia.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had over 1,400 alumni drafted and 98 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.