Fayetteville, N.C. – – – Fayetteville SwampDogs starting right-handed pitcher Griffin McLarty (College of Charleston) went five innings, allowing one earned run on three total hits to lead the ‘Dogs to a 6-4 victory over the Morehead City Marlins at The Swamp Thursday evening. The Fayetteville pitching staff combined for only two earned runs allowed in the contest.
Fayetteville improves to 1-1, while Morehead City falls to 0-3. The SwampDogs return to action tomorrow night when they venture on their first road trip of the season to Wilmington to face the Sharks. First pitch is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start where the game can be heard on the SwampDogs Mixlr station.
SwampDogs catcher Nic Perkins (Drury) led the Fayetteville offensive efforts finishing 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs and two runs scored. Right fielder Marquise Lanier (Chowan) went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs, while third baseman Alex Hull (Cal State Northridge) and designated hitter Mike Spooner (Stetson) each finished 1-for-4 with a run scored.
“This win feels great,” said Perkins. “It was awesome to be able to get the victory in front of all these great fans. We feed off their energy a lot. We really appreciate them as a team. They stay into it the whole way and it was a great atmosphere.”
For Morehead City, first baseman Daulton Weeks (USC-Aiken) led the Marlins with a 1-for-3 night and a game-high three RBIs. Third baseman Colton Pogue (Pittsburg State) went 1-for-3 with an RBI, while second baseman Kendall Ford (Georgia State) also placed a 1-for-3 mark.
The Marlins got on the board with an RBI groundout from Weeks to give the visitors an early 1-0 advantage in the top of the first inning. The ‘Dogs answered quickly in the home half with an RBI double from Perkins to knot the score at 1-1.
Fayetteville broke the game open in the bottom of the third with the game-winning two-RBI single from Perkins to take a 3-1 lead followed by a two-run base knock from Lanier to extend the margin out to 5-1.
Neither team would score until the SwampDogs tallied a huge insurance run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI triple from shortstop Justin Hawkins (Clemson) to make it 6-1. Morehead City attempted the comeback trail in the visiting frame of the eighth beginning with a throwing error that scored two runs to cut the deficit in half at 6-3.
Morehead City tacked on another run with an RBI single from Pogue to make it a two-run ballgame at 6-4. The Marlins led off the top of the ninth with a walk but Fayetteville right-handed pitcher Ricky Heagarty (Austin Peay) retired the final three Marlins to seal the victory.
“It’s always good to get the first win,” said SwampDogs head coach Matt Hollod. “I still think we have a long way to go as far as our team gelling together. However, I continue to see positive from our guys in this game along with Tuesday night. We will continue to get better at learning our system and figure out what we want to do in order to succeed.”
McLarty got the win, improving to 1-0 on the season. MHC starting pitcher Anthony Holubecki (Notre Dame) took the loss and fell to 0-1. Heagarty recorded his first save of the 2017 campaign.
“Ricky was very good on the mound,” said Hollod. “I know he finished his freshman season at College of Charleston very strong, so I planned on giving him the start tonight. A night like he had will definitely earn him another start in the future.”
The Fayetteville SwampDogs return home to the friendly confines of The Swamp Saturday night versus Wilmington for the first Fireworks Extravaganza of the summer. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. Be sure to grab your tickets before they are all gone by calling 910-426-5900!
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.