by Jordan Lank
The Fayetteville SwampDogs emerged from Big Rock Stadium victorious for the first time this season, handling the Morehead City Marlins 13-5 in a four-hour marathon.
It was the second game in a row in which the SwampDogs tallied double-digit runs
The Marlins responded with three of their own when the first five Morehead City batters reached safely. The Fish plated one more in the second to gain a two-run lead.
The 'Dogs then scored eight unanswered runs from the third to fifth innings. It started when Ben Norman plated Howard for another RBI single, and Konner Piotto mashed a two-out, two-run double to left-center in the third.
Fayetteville sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth, and scored five runs to blow the game open. Cameron Phelts drove home two with a two-run double of his own before a Marlins error off the bat of Damon Dues plated two more. Howard provided another run-scoring single in the inning to make it 10-4.
The Marlins responded with an RBI single in their half of the fifth, but would not score again.
The SwampDogs added to the scoring barrage when Brandon Talley sent his fifth homer of the season deep over the fence in right to lead off the sixth. Carson Bartels reached on an error and Talley knocked an RBI single in the ninth to cap the scoring at 13.
Piotto went 2-for-3 on the night and reached base safely his first four times at the dish.
Jose Rodriguez started for the 'Dogs, throwing two innings and allowing four runs, three of which were earned.
Justin Ruble came on in relief for the first time this season and earned his first win by hurling three innings, allowing one run on five hits. Ruble struck out five and walked zero Marlins in a bounce-back outing.
The SwampDogs will take the next three days off before returning to action after the All-Star break. Six 'Dogs were named 2019 All-Stars, and five will travel to Savannah on Sunday for the festivities: pitchers Jonathan Cole and Matt Bradley, catcher Alex Kachler, infielder Austin Bost and outfielder Sean McGeehan. Then, Fayetteville will resume action on Wednesday at "The Swamp" for Country Night, when the Holly Springs Salamanders come to town. Gates open at 6 PM with first pitch 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.