New day, same game.
Twenty-four hours after beating Holly Springs on the road behind clutch pitching in big moments, the SwampDogs did it again Saturday night. In a performance fitting of the evening's fireworks extravaganza, Fayetteville's pitchers worked their way out of three different bases-loaded scenarios as the SwampDogs beat the Salamanders, 5-1.
"Any team is going to get into situations like that," said head coach Matt Hollod. "Even though we walked a lot of guys, we still managed to succeed in those situations and come out of it with nothing."
The SwampDogs used four pitchers to navigate those dangerous waters Saturday. German Reyes (Mount Olive) shined the brightest, earning the win by holding the Salamanders hitless and striking out six in three and two-thirds innings of relief. When Holly Springs threatened to make a comeback in the ninth, Austin Goff (Middle Georgia State) sealed the deal for the second straight night.
"We got some guys stepping up out of the bullpen," Reyes said after the game. "If something clicks out there for somebody, you gotta ride with it."
The SwampDogs' work on the mound was not flawless, as they issued 12 walks and hit three more batters. But even though Holly Springs managed to put a runner on third base in five of the game's nine innings, Fayetteville repeatedly kept them off the board, ceding only one run in the ninth.
"It was actually quite phenomenal that we only gave up one run when we allowed 15 free passes," Hollod said. "We're not always going to get away with that. So we gotta throw more strikes and get ahead in the count early."
The SwampDogs supported their pitching by continuing to attack when presented with good scoring opportunities. Fayetteville produced its five runs by taking advantage of Salamanders' miscues, being aggressive on the basepaths and getting timely hits.
"We're playing good as a team," Reyes said. "We're scrapping out wins, and you gotta feed off of that and just carry it into the next game."
The SwampDogs take the field again tomorrow to celebrate Father's Day with an afternoon matchup against the Wilmington Sharks, and the first 500 dads will receive decked out socks courtesy of Lumbee River EMC. The game is scheduled for a 5:05 p.m. start with the gates opening up at 4.