In the second game of the 2013 summer season, the SwampDogs came from behind in the eight inning to force extra innings, but things got interesting in the tenth inning and the Wilmington Sharks stayed undefeated after a 3-2 win.
Fayetteville had its best opportunity of the evening to win the game in the tenth frame with bases loaded and no outs, but Brennen James, a sophomore from UNC Greensboro, threw two straight strikeouts and got a fly out to the top three hitters in the SwampDogs’ order to escape the jam.
That was all the momentum the Sharks would need and they would take care of business in the bottom of the inning. Dillon Rudio got things started with a lead-off single. After a sacrifice bunt, intentional walk, and fly out to first, Wilmington had a runner in scoring position with two outs.
Chris Dula chopped a groundball between shortstop and third base where Mitchell Kranson fielded it cleanly and attempted to apply the tag on Rudio to end the inning. The field umpire signaled that Kranson missed the tag so the University of California infielder quickly threw it over to first, but Gibson couldn’t scoop it at first and Rudio crossed home plate to score the winning run.
Head coach Darrell Handelsman stepped out on the field and voiced his opinion to the umpiring crew following the loss and was ejected from the game.
James picked up the win after tossing two inning and striking out four batters.
Talkington threw seven strong innings on the mound for the SwampDogs and he struck out six batters. He located his pitches nicely and had two innings where it only took him eight or less pitches to get out of the inning.
Jimmie Davis came in relief and threw two and two-thirds inning and the lone run that scored off him in the tenth was unearned. His curve ball had a big 12-to-6 break and fooled batters all evening so the three-year returner looked good in his first action on the mound.
The SwampDogs are 1-1 on the season and return back to the Swamp Thursday night to take on the Forest City Owls to close out the month of May.
The Fayetteville SwampDogs are a part of the Coastal Plain League, 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 62 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.