Sharks may be apex predators out in the ocean, but bring them on dry land, and they're just a fish out of water.
After struggling to put together all the different facets of the game in their first three tries, the SwampDogs brought their A-game both on the mound and in the batter's box on Monday. Fayetteville gave the crowd what it wanted on "It ain't easy to be cheesy" night, scoring seven runs while allowing just one in a commanding win over the Wilmington Sharks.
"Our pitching was good all the way through and our bats were good. It was really the first game out of the four where we did a little bit of everything," said head coach Matt Hollod.
For the second night in a row, the SwampDogs struck first against the Sharks on a Jay Hayes RBI base hit in the first inning. Continuing to follow the previous night's script, Wilmington answered with a run of their own in the second behind a Michael Varga home run.
Unlike on Sunday, though, the Sharks did not score again. Blake Schriever was masterful in his first game at The Swamp, allowing just three hits – and needing only 62 pitches – in five innings of work.
"Blake went five innings and pitched very good," Hollod said. "It was easily our best start of the year."
"We need to find roles," Hollod said about the relief pitchers. "You put together multiple appearances like that, it proves that you're going to be one of our guys at the back end."
While the pitching staff had a lights-out performance collectively, the SwampDogs batters held up their end of the bargain as well. Fayetteville took the lead in the fourth inning on a Logan Jarvis RBI single, one of four times the first baseman reached base safely on the night.
The SwampDogs then broke the game open in the next inning, utilizing four walks and three singles en route to five runs. By the time the Sharks came up to bat in the top of the sixth, the SwampDogs possessed a six-run lead they would not relinquish. Logan Jarvis, Willis McDaniel and Harry Brown each drove in two runs on the night as the SwampDogs improved to 2-2.
The SwampDogs are back in action Wednesday night at home against the Lexington County Blowfish, with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.