FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Experts say that when a grizzly bear approaches you, you should avoid eye contact and slowly walk away. The Fayetteville SwampDogs took a different approach Wednesday night by breaking out the bats, defeating the Gastonia Grizzlies 9-6 in a slugfest at J.P. Riddle Stadium.
The SwampDogs got off to a quick start when Sky Overton (Soph./Furman) led off the bottom of the first inning with a double down the left field line, then would score two batters later on a sacrifice fly from Jimmy Faul (Jr./Louisville). Overton would score three runs in the game, and have a run batted in as well. Faul would finish with three RBIs.
Aaron Lesiak (Soph./Presbyterian) got the start for the SwampDogs, tossing the first five innings of the game, surrendering five runs (two earned) on six hits, walking two and striking out one. Alex Siddle (Jr./Southeast Missouri) pitched well in three innings of relief work.
The SwampDogs made good on head coach Zach Brown’s vision of big innings on offense, putting up three runs in the third and fourth innings, and plating two additional runs in the sixth.
The winning pitcher was Lesiak, who won his first game of the season to improve to 1-1. Grant Byers got the loss for Gastonia, falling to 0-1 on the season. In pitching the final three innings of the game, Siddle recorded his first save of the season.
The SwampDogs (8-8) are back in action at tomorrow night against the Wilmington Sharks as they hit the road before returning home Friday night to face the Florence RedWolves at 7:05 pm. It’s 15th Anniversary Night, and the first 500 fans receive a SwampDogs trucker hat courtesy of Healy Wholesale, Coors and WKML. Reserve your tickets now by calling 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 90 alumni taken in the draft and have produced six 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 their team website at www.goswampdogs.com and follow us on Twitter @GoSwampDogs and like us on Facebook at Fayetteville SwampDogs Baseball. Where baseball is fun!
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.