By Jordan Lank
The Fayetteville SwampDogs fell to the Florence RedWolves on Saturday night 3-1 after missing out on several key opportunities.
Florence jumped out to an early lead after two first-inning base hits and a sacrifice fly, crossing two. That wound up being all the offense the RedWolves required, although they added an insurance run in the seventh on a second sac fly.
The SwampDogs left the bases loaded fourth inning, and stranded another runner in the ninth. The only run Fayetteville scored came when second baseman Trent Harris drove one in on a groundout with the bases loaded in the second. After that, the other two runners aboard were left on base.
SwampDog pitching — aside from a shaky first inning that did most of the damage — was solid. John Vanderploeg threw 2.2 innings, allowing two earned runs before Robbie Frongello hurled 2.1 clean frames.
Christian Wingard made his SwampDogs debut out of the 'pen, allowing a hit and recording his first Fayetteville strikeout in the seventh.
Florence starting pitcher Seth Chestnut had an outing to remember, throwing six innings of one-run ball while walking just one and striking out eight. Then, Connor Holden closed the door with a three-inning save to seal it for the RedWolves.
The SwampDogs will enjoy an off day on Sunday before traveling to Morehead City on Monday and returning back home Tuesday for Teacher Appreciation Night and Tattoosday presented by New Addiction Tattoo.
The Fayetteville SwampDogs are members of the The Coastal Plain League and are in their 19th Summer of fun. The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Heading into its 23rd season in 2019, the CPL features 16 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 122 alums – including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor – make their Major League debut. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball.