Hampton, Va. -- It's early in the summer, but there doesn't appear to be any quit in this team. Sometimes, that's just not enough though.
Following two rainouts earlier in the week, the SwampDogs played their first game of the season on the road against Peninsula Friday night, losing to the Pilots 4-3.
Peninsula got things started early at War Memorial Stadium, with their first three batters reaching base safely. By the time the dust settled in the bottom of the first, the Pilots had a 2-0 lead on Fayetteville starter Taylor Gibson.
Just a half inning later, the SwampDogs scored their first official run of the season. After drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to second on a Matthias Carter base on balls, Natale Monastra advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball to cut the lead in half.
After the Pilots tacked on two more runs in the fourth, the SwampDogs continued to fight. A seventh-inning rally featuring three consecutive singles by Willis McDaniel, Brennan Fontenot and Matt Kelly brought Fayetteville within one, but the SwampDogs were unable to even the score, stranding two runners in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
The SwampDogs return home Saturday for the summer's first fireworks extravaganza, presented by Cape Fear Orthopedics. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05.