After winning back-to-back nights to move within a half game of first place, the SwampDogs had a chance to vault into the East Division's top spot in a home matchup with the rival Morehead City Marlins Wednesday.
Looking to build on the recent burst of success, the SwampDogs gave it their all but could not break through against the Marlins' league-best pitching staff, falling 10-2.
The final result does not tell the whole story of Wednesday night's performance, as the SwampDogs looked solid at the plate for most of the game. Seven different players recorded a hit, and Fayetteville's total of eight tied the team's best output against Morehead City this season.
The SwampDogs also added three extra-base hits to the box score in the form of two doubles and a home run. Corner outfielders Joey Wiemer (Cincinnati) and Jay Hayes (Florida Gulf Coast) provided the doubles while second baseman Matt Kelly (Portland) blasted his second home run of the year in the fourth inning. Trent Franson (Houston Baptist) drove in Fayetteville's other run with a sacrifice fly in the third.
The SwampDogs also pitched much better than the score might indicate, as they only allowed two earned runs through the game's first eight innings. Tyler Shuck (Florida Gulf Coast) and Josh Avila (Cumberlands) both held the Marlins scoreless in appearances out of the bullpen, combining for two strikeouts and two hits in three innings pitched.
The loss hardly damaged Fayetteville's playoff hopes, as the SwampDogs actually benefit from Morehead City's success. After the conclusion of Wednesday night's action, the SwampDogs remain just a game and a half behind first place in the second half while maintaining a five-game cushion on their second-place positioning overall.
Fayetteville continues its fun-filled week at The Swamp with Bike Night on Thursday and First Responders' Night on Saturday. Bidding is officially open for the team's one-of-a-kind first responder jersey auction, with all proceeds benefitting local first responders. To place a bid, visit the team website or stop by the auction tables on the concourse on Saturday night. The online portion of the auction will remain open until Saturday at 4 p.m., with in-person bidding continuing until the completion of that night's game.