All good things must come to an end eventually.
Riding a three-game winning streak (two in CPL play), the SwampDogs hosted the Morehead City Marlins for a divisional matchup Thursday night. Fayetteville stayed within two runs of Morehead City through the first eight innings but could never quite catch the Marlins, eventually falling by the score of 8-3.
"We could have won that game. It was close," said head coach Matt Hollod. "It's just one loss. We'll bounce back tomorrow and have a chance to play well."
Despite the final result, there were a couple of bright spots for Fayetteville Thursday. Starter Garret Rogers (Morehead State) was sharp, allowing just two hits in six and a third innings of work. Outfielders Joey Wiemer (Cincinnati) and Brett Young (Delta State) both threw out runners trying to tag up on flyouts as well.
At the plate, Matt Kelly (Portland) went three-for-four with two singles and a triple while also contributing to every Fayetteville run, as he drove in two and scored the other.
"I was just seeing the ball well, trying to get my pitch and take advantage of it when I got it," Kelly said.
As has been the case with most of the SwampDogs' losses this season, Fayetteville continued to battle throughout the game, scoring in both the eighth and ninth innings. But the SwampDogs were never quite able to even the score after falling behind in the second.
"I feel like this team's done a really good job of coming together," Kelly said about the team's relentless effort even while trailing. "We just gotta keep working and keep trying to do things right late in games."
The SwampDogs hit the road Friday for the first game of a home-and-home set with Holly Springs this weekend. Saturday's game marks military appreciation night and the summer's second fireworks extravaganza at The Swamp! The first 500 fans in attendance will receive camo visors courtesy of Lee Hyundai.