by Jordan Lank
It was too little too late on Tuesday night for the Fayetteville SwampDogs, who, despite scoring three runs in the last two innings of play, could not muster enough to complete the comeback in an 8-7 loss to the Wilmington Sharks.
The SwampDogs picked up the offense and started the scoring when Pearce Howard drove home Alex Kachler with an RBI single in the second. The 'Dogs scored three more in the fourth, thanks to two RBI singles by Ben Norman and Damon Dues, with a Yareb Martinez RBI fielder's choice wedged in between.
The Sharks got on the board in their half of the fourth, and scored eight unanswered runs to give themselves a four-run cushion. Wilmington crossed five of those runs on five consecutive bases-loaded walks.
The SwampDogs did not score again until the eighth inning, when Carson Bartels plated two with a two-run double. Austin Bost opened the ninth with a solo blast, but Fayetteville was unable to complete the comeback.
It was the second consecutive night where the SwampDogs tallied double-digit hits in a loss. Fayetteville stranded nine runners on base.
Joe Graziano pitched four innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs. The Butler lefty allowed three walks and struck out two.
Nathan Mirochnick recorded his third straight outing in which no runs were allowed. In 1.1 innings of relief, Mirochnick also struck out three Sharks.
The 'Dogs will return home Wednesday for their annual Tribute to America Game, which will include an extravagant fireworks display following the contest against the High-Point Thomasville HiToms. Gates open at 5 PM and first pitch is scheduled for 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.