Fayetteville, N.C. – – – The Fayetteville SwampDogs used a crucial four-run bottom of the sixth inning in route to a 7-3 victory over the visiting Wilmington Sharks from The Swamp Monday evening. The game was called due to a lighting delay that occurred with one out in the home half of the seventh. Fayetteville’s offense tallied 12 total hits on the night for its second-best total of the 2017 campaign, posting 14 hits versus Holly Springs in the season opener.
SwampDogs improve to 3-2, while Wilmington falls to 2-3 overall. The ‘Dogs return to action tomorrow night for an exhibition contest versus the Catawba Valley Stars from The Swamp. First pitch is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start. Follow the live stats for the game on CoastalPlain.com and the play-by-play tweets @GoSwampDogs.
Fayetteville third baseman Juwan Burney (Delta State) led the ‘Dogs with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate with two runs scored in his season debut. Second baseman Alex Hull (Cal State Northridge) finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Center fielder Austin Edgette (Bloomsburg) and left fielder Jay Robinson (New Orleans) each finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Shortstop Justin Hawkins (Clemson) was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
For Wilmington, the Sharks clubbed two solo home runs from designated hitter Walker Imwalle (Davidson) and left fielder Mason Berne (UNC Wilmington) who both tallied 1-for-3 performances. Second baseman Justin Row (South Carolina) was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
The Sharks got on the board first with a solo shot off the bat of Imwalle to give the visitors an early 1-0 advantage in the top of the third inning. Fayetteville quickly answered with three runs in the bottom frame and never looked back. The rally began with an RBI double from Hull to tie the game at 1-1 before a sacrifice fly from Edgette and a RBI single from Robinson to grab the 3-1 lead.
Wilmington responded with a pair of unanswered runs in the top of the fifth and sixth innings to tie the contest at 3-3. The scoring run commenced with a home run from Berne in the fifth followed by a sacrifice fly from catcher Danny Wondrack (College of Charleston).
Fayetteville broke the tie with a huge offensive inning in the home half of the sixth, tallying four crucial runs. The half inning began with an RBI single from Hull followed by Hawkins scoring on a wild pitch to break the game open at 5-3. An RBI single from Edgette and a sacrifice fly from Robinson gave Fayetteville the 7-3 advantage, holding on for their third victory of the season.
SwampDogs starting left-handed pitcher Zach Neff (Austin Peay) got the win, improving to 1-0. Sharks starting lefty Daniel Johnson (Charleston Southern) took the loss, falling to 0-1. Neff finished with six innings pitched, allowing three earned runs and three strikeouts. ‘Dogs lefty Justice Sampson (NC Central) came in for relief and recorded three strikeouts in one inning pitched.
The SwampDogs face the Catawba Valley Stars tomorrow evening from The Swamp for the first exhibition game of the season. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with the gates opening at 6 p.m. It will be Beach Night at the ballpark so come get in the early summer spirit and dress in your best beach outfit!
About the SwampDogs: The Fayetteville SwampDogs enter their 17th season playing in the Coastal Plain League in 2017. The SwampDogs are one of the most successful franchises in the league’s history, making the Petitt Cup Playoffs eight times in the past 11 seasons, reaching the championship round three times. The SwampDogs boast over 100 alumni taken in the draft and have produced seven players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball including slugger Mark Reynolds and David Aardsma. For more information on the Fayetteville SwampDogs, visit the team website at www.goswampdogs.com and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @GoSwampDogs. Be sure to also like us on Facebook at Fayetteville SwampDogs Baseball. Where baseball is fun!
About the Coastal Plain League: The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest 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 nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 81 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.