It was a night of positives and negatives for The SwampDogs on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the blemishes slightly outweighed the bright spots.
Even on a night in which Fayetteville reached double digits in both hits and runs, they could not hold off Lexington County late in the game and fell to the Blowfish, 12-10.
"That was the first time where we really got hit and had a chance to come back and show that we have some fight in us, and we did that," said infielder Matt Kelly. "We can learn from it. We just need to do more things right, and this one'll prepare us better for the next close game like this."
The SwampDogs showed plenty of fight all right.
After taking the lead in the first inning for the third consecutive game, the SwampDogs kept the pressure on in the second. By the time Taylor Gibson went out to the mound for the third, Fayetteville had blasted two home runs (Matt Kelly and Harry Brown) and possessed a 5-0 lead.
The score did not change until the fifth inning, when the Blowfish suddenly started hitting. After scoring a run in the fifth, Lexington County tallied six in the sixth, one in the seventh, another in the eighth and finally three more in the ninth.
The SwampDogs would not go down easy, though. Heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, Fayetteville trailed by four and had not scored since the second. The SwampDogs refused to heel, though, fighting their way back with a four-run, five-hit frame to even things up heading into the ninth.
"It's good to know that you got guys that can put up a fight there late in games," Kelly said. "I hope we can take tomorrow but also to the rest of the season."
Even with the Blowfish scoring three runs in the top of the final frame, this one came all the way down to the wire. A one-out rally brought the tying run to second base, but the final two batters could not solve Lexington County reliever Colton Rendon.
The SwampDogs are back in action Thursday night against Morehead City for the first Dog Day of the summer at The Swamp. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the game set to start at 7:05.