By Jordan Lank
The Fayetteville SwampDogs defeated the Wilmington Sharks 3-1, on Monday night thanks to a great pitching performance and clutch offense.
It started with right-hander Krishna Raj, who struck out five on his way to five innings of one-hit ball. The lone hit was also Wilmington's only run: a solo homer in the second. Raj responded beautifully, however, retiring the next seven Sharks he faced.
Fayetteville's offensive attack began in the sixth inning, when newcomer Jackson Webb doubled to lead things off. Webb would advance to third on a flyout and score on a Pearce Howard groundout to tie the game at one.
Catcher Gabe Austin provided timely hitting in the seventh for two much-needed insurance runs. After back-to-back one-out baserunners, Austin singled to right and knocked them both home.
With the win, the SwampDogs evened the season series at two apiece. The division rivals will face off 11 more times in the regular season.
The 'Dogs return home on Tuesday for their second tilt of the season versus the Catawba Valley Stars on Local Superhero Night, and will conclude the brief homestand on Wednesday for Fishin' in the Park Night against Morehead City. Gates will open at "The Swamp" at 6 PM and first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 on each night.
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.