Coming into Thursday night's tilt against the Wilmington Sharks, something had to give.
For the SwampDogs, the team had lost two in a row on Monday and Wednesday to fall below .500. The Sharks, on the other hand, had not won in 13 days and rode an eight-game losing streak into The Swamp.
Something had to give, and it was the Sharks' streak that came to a close Thursday, as the SwampDogs' bullpen faltered late and Wilmington drove out of Fayetteville with a 6-4 victory.
The game started off well for the SwampDogs, as Fayetteville was locked in against Wilmington starter Bryce Cota. The SwampDogs pushed a run across in each of the first four innings, with Joey Wiemer (Cincinnati), Alex Garland (Georgia Gwinnett) and Willis McDaniel (Florida A&M) each recording an RBI as well as a stolen base.
At the same time, Fayetteville starter Garret Rogers (Morehead State) looked terrific on the mound, yielding just four hits in six and a third scoreless innings.
The SwampDogs took a 4-0 lead into the eighth, but they were unable to close it out from there. The Sharks got three there and another three in the ninth to take the lead, while the combination of Andrew Kaminsky and Sam Luchansky kept Fayetteville off the board for the game's final five frames.
The SwampDogs drop to 7-9 on the season with the loss but remain in second place in the division and have another important matchup tomorrow night, as the team hits the road to take on the first-place Morehead City Marlins. Fayetteville returns home Saturday for a cluckin' good time against the Holly Springs Salamanders, sponsored by Mountaire Farms.