The Fayetteville SwampDogs destroyed the Columbia Blowfish’s first-half destiny with a 7-3 victory on Saturday night.
In front of a jam-packed J.P. Riddle Stadium, the SwampDogs had to battle back after the second batter of the night, Michael Wilson (Francis Marion) belted his first home run of the season to drive in the first two runs of the game.
Wilson finished the game going 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs. In the third inning, designated hitter Chase Shelton (Charleston Southern) drove in Wilson for his 11th RBI in ten games after Eros Modena (Bethune Cookman) laid down a sacrifice bunt to put Wilson in scoring position.
The Blowfish were coasting through the first three innings and then the SwampDogs’ bats exploded for their best inning of the summer. Fayetteville had six hits, two walks and seven RBIs in the fourth inning alone to take the 7-3 lead.
With one out, Michael Timm (Wright State), Derek Gibson (Southeast Missouri) and Brian Celsi (California) strung together three straight singles to score the team’s first run. Ryan Nagle (Illinois) hit an RBI double to close the gap on Columbia and John Rooney (Siena) had an RBI walk to tie the game.
Bill Bereszniewicz hit the eventual game-winning, two-RBI double to make it a 5-3 game. Mitchell Kranson (California) and Ransom LaLonde (St. Edward’s) would also drive home a run in that inning.
After the fourth inning, Dogs’ starter Ben Burns (Georgia State) proceeded to retire nine of the next ten batters before he was relieved by the bullpen. Burns threw seven innings and allowed six hits and three runs to pick up his third win of the season.
Jack Van Horn (Wright State) and Travis Hissong (Wright State) allowed one hit of scoreless baseball in the eighth and ninth inning and Hissong struck out his 14th and 15th batter of the season to start the ninth.
Fayetteville will resume their suspended game against the Wilson Tobs Sunday at 4:05 p.m. for game one of the double header. The score is 0-0 heading into the top of the fourth and the second game will be a seven-inning ballgame.
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.