They don't call it "exciting SwampDogs baseball" for nothing.
On the road in Morehead City for the last Sunday of the Coastal Plain League regular season, the SwampDogs refused to roll over, nearly pulling off a miraculous ninth-inning comeback but nonetheless falling to the Marlins 4-3.
The SwampDogs kept this one interesting up until the very last pitch. After falling behind early in the game, Fayetteville entered the final frame down by three runs. Morehead City's closer had only given up one run all summer, but the SwampDogs knocked him out of the game before he could even record an out.
The first three batters in the top of the ninth drew walks to set the table for Trent Franson (Houston Baptist), who promptly doubled down the left field line. Franson's base hit brought Fayetteville within one and forced the Marlins to go back to the bullpen with runners on second and third with no outs, but the SwampDogs were unable to tie it up.
While the final result may have been tough for Fayetteville, the team played extremely well for the majority of the contest. Perhaps sensing the rally to come, relievers Jimmy Reardon (Bloomsburg) and Max Bain (Northwood) – the latter of whom was making his SwampDogs' debut – held the Marlins hitless for three and a third innings. Reardon struck out three and walked just one of the eight batters he faced, while Bain struck out two in a perfect eighth inning.
Fayetteville remains squarely in the hunt for the East Division's second playoff spot entering the final week of the season. The SwampDogs are back on the road Monday and Tuesday before hosting the Savannah Bananas Wednesday Night.