The Fayetteville SwampDogs (18-12, 1-2) outslugged the Morehead City Marlins (19-20, 7-4) 14-7 to pick up their first win of the second half.
The SwampDogs have not played a game since July 6 and they came out a bit rusty. Down 1-0 heading into the third inning, the Marlins unleashed for a four-run inning to give them what seemed like a comfortable 5-0 lead on the road.
Jacob Hoyle (Western Carolina) and Dalton Britt (Liberty) each had an RBI double and Brad Haynal (San Diego State) hit a two-RBI single with two outs to add to the lead.
This game appeared to be turning into a long night for the SwampDogs, but they strung together some inspiring at-bats in the bottom half of the third inning. With the bases empty and two outs, the top of the Dogs’ lineup had two walks and five straight hits to steal the 6-5 lead.
Brian Celsi (California) had the biggest hit of the inning in which he tied the game at five with a two-RBI double and also put himself in a tie with Mitchell Kranson (California) for the team lead with 20 RBIs.
The SwampDogs would add two more runs in the fourth to give themselves an 8-5 lead. Sam Ott (Eastern Michigan) and Haynal made it interesting in the fifth inning when they each drove in a run to cut Fayetteville’s lead down to one run.
There comeback fell short however because John Rooney (Siena) drove in Ryan Nagle (Illinois) after he led the fifth inning off with a walk and then advanced to third on a wild pick off throw back to first. Three batters later, Kranson roped a two-RBI double just inches above third base to give him the team lead with eight doubles and 22 RBIs.
Ransom LaLonde finished the night two-for-four with two RBIs in the seventh and Ryan Busch (Georgetown) led the way with three walks and three runs scored in his first game back since June 9th. Unfortunately, Busch did leave the game in the seventh inning with an apparent lower body injury.
Hitters two through eight all had at least one RBI and a hit and the 14 runs was the most the SwampDogs have scored since their 14 runs on June 8 against Wilson.
The SwampDogs hit the road to take on the Peninsula Pilots and Petersburg Generals on Thursday and Friday. The team returns to “The Swamp” on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. for the ninth annual Family Fun Night and the first 500 fans will receive the newest edition of the Fun-Go military edition bobblehead.
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.