With the season's end just five days away and a playoff race that is still too close to call, the SwampDogs and Salamanders both desperately wanted to win Tuesday night.
That desire was evident during the matchup in Holly Springs. In a game that featured three ties, four lead changes and an extra inning, the SwampDogs finally emerged victorious, defeating the Salamanders 8-5.
While his start was shortened due to a 45-minute weather delay in the middle of the third inning, Jared Crews (Middle Georgia State) left the game with the lead. The bullpen picked up where he left off, keeping a talented Salamanders' lineup from doing too much damage. Max Bain (Northwood), Austin Goff (Middle Georgia State), Dillon Brown (Cal State Fullerton) and Josh Avila (Cumberlands) held Holly Springs scoreless in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
At the plate, outfielder Joey Wiemer (Cincinnati) led the SwampDogs with three hits and three runs scored. Infielder Trent Franson (Houston Baptist) continued his successful stretch over the last week, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. He now has an extra-base hit in three straight games and has reached safely in six of the last seven.
For all the back-and-forth in this one, the game was tied at three after nine innings. It did not stay tied for long, as the SwampDogs put up five runs in the top of the 10th. Beginning with runners on first and second per the international tiebreaker rule, six straight SwampDogs produced a walk, hit or run-scoring out. The huge inning gave Avila plenty of cushion to finish the game off in the bottom half.
The SwampDogs will look to carry the momentum from this win into their next game against Savannah Wednesday night at The Swamp. Fayetteville will be celebrating the Monkees, the classic rock band that made everybody go bananas!