By Jordan Lank
The Fayetteville SwampDogs dropped their first home matchup against the Wilmington Sharks on Tuesday night after allowing nine unanswered runs from the fourth to ninth innings.
Fayetteville got out to a fantastic start in the first, as Joe Graziano struck out the side in order for the SwampDogs in his debut. In the bottom half, Graziano received plenty of run support, as the 'Dogs crossed seven runs on six hits to jump out to a big lead.
Graziano was pulled after four innings, allowing four earned runs and three walks while striking out five. The bullpen could not hold the lead, however, as Wilmington fought back with solo runs in the sixth and seventh. In the eighth, the Sharks scored three to take the lead, completing the nine-run comeback.
SwampDogs right fielder Sean McGeehan and catcher Gabe Austin each made their debuts in the navy and neon green. McGeehan drilled a three-run home run in the first as a part of the seven-run inning, and Austin drew a leadoff walk in the eighth.
The SwampDogs will return to action Wednesday night at 7:05 when they face the Campbell University Alumni on Nurse Night. The festivities continue at "The Swamp" on Thursday and Friday with the 75th anniversary remembrance of the D-Day invasion and Tribute to Queen night, respectively. Each game will also begin at 7:05.
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.