By Jordan Lank
The Fayetteville SwampDogs dropped a heartbreaker on Monday night in Morehead City when they were walked off by the Marlins, 4-3.
Both pitching staffs were superb Monday, but it was the Marlins who withstood the resistance when Morehead City's Sean McLaughlin drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to end the ballgame.
SwampDogs starter Krishna Raj was sensational, allowing just one run on two hits in 4.2 innings. Raj struck out three as well in his first start for the SwampDogs.
Matt Bradley and Price Adams both hurled scoreless outings from the 'pen, leading the way for Matt Vonderschmidt's herculean relief effort. The Piedmont senior, normally a closer, threw 3.1 innings to help conserve arms in the Fayetteville bullpen.
For the Marlins, four pitchers combined to strike out nine SwampDogs and strand 10 on the basepaths as Fayetteville couldn't find its offense.
The 'Dogs tallied just three hits en route to the loss. One of those knocks came off the bat of first baseman Brandon Talley, who gave the 'Dogs a 3-1 lead in the 11th with an RBI single. A throwing error by the Marlins allowed a second run to score on the play.
Morehead City countered with three of their own in the bottom half, handing the tough loss to Fayetteville.
The SwampDogs will return home Tuesday night for four home games in as many days, with a 75th-anniversary rememberance of the D-Day invasion on Thursday and Tribute to Queen night on Friday. All games will begin at 7:05 PM.
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.