SwampDogs Drop Second Half Home Opener

The Fayetteville SwampDogs took an early deficit against the Peninsula Pilots and lock down pitching from the Pilots’ staff helped aid the 5-1 victory on the road.

The SwampDogs had not played a game since the double header against Wilson on June 30th and more rain caused an hour and a half delay before the game officially began.

Kevin Archbold (Albany) started on the mound but he ran into some trouble in the second inning. After back-to-back singles from Matt Dickason (Longwood) and Josh Silver (Lee) to start off the frame, the Pilots would score the first run of the game on a passed ball.

A few batters later, Patrick Grady (Lander) and Brandon Reitano (Mt. Olive College) hit back-to-back RBI triples with two outs to give Peninsula a 3-0 lead.

That was all the offense they would need, but Zach Lopes (Deleware) would increase the lead to 5-0 by hitting an RBI double to left centerfield.

Ransom LaLonde (St. Edward’s) would prevent the shutout in front of a packed J.P. Riddle Stadium when he drove in his fourth run on the season.

The spotlight came back to Peninsula’s pitching. The team threw nine strikeouts and just one walk and three hits in route to the four run victory. Starting right-handed pitcher Dan Grauer (Liberty) threw three innings of perfect baseball and he had his no-hit bid broken up in the fifth inning with two outs when Ryan Nagle (Illinois) hit a single to left field.

Following the game, the fans got to enjoy the best fireworks extravaganza of the summer to close the holiday out with a bang.

The SwampDogs suffered their first loss of the second half and the Pilots are off to a quick 4-0 start in July. Fayetteville takes on Columbia on Saturday night in South Carolina before travelling to Hampton, Virginia for the 2013 CPL All-Star weekend on Sunday and Monday.

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.