by Jordan Lank
Konner Piotto remained red hot, but the Fayetteville SwampDogs were topped by the Morehead City Marlins on Friday night at Big Rock Stadium for their seventh consecutive loss, 10-7.
Piotto registered his second straight four-hit night, turning in a 4-for-5 effort with two RBI doubles and two singles. Piotto now has a hit in each of his last 10 games, five of which have been multi-hit affairs. Since June 29, the Wright State catcher has hit .468 and has lifted his OPS to .803 on the season.
The 'Dogs got on the board first when Piotto drove home Cameron Phelts with one of his two doubles. That lead would not last long, though. Morehead City swiftly collected three runs of its own in the bottom half thanks to two homers.
The Marlins extended their lead in the fourth when eight batters came to the plate and four scored to make it 7-1.
Momentum teetered back towards Morehead City in the sixth, when the Marlins added three runs and presumably put the game out of reach, leading 10-3. But the 'Dogs plated three themselves in the seventh — on RBI hits by Piotto, Talley, and Carson Bartels — to make it interesting.
The SwampDogs attempted another rally by loading the bases in the eighth, but the Marlins escaped the inning with a three-pitch strikeout. They then crossed a run in the ninth on a Yareb Martinez RBI single, but stranded the winning run at the dish with runners on the corners. The 'Dogs left double-digit baserunners on for the second night in a row, totaling 30 in the last two games.
Bartels also made a difference on the offensive end, notching three singles, a double and an RBI on the evening.
Pearce Howard's consecutive games on base streak was extended to 19 when he singled in the third inning. Howard also singled in the eighth.
The SwampDogs return to J.P. Riddle Stadium on Saturday night for First Responders Night. The 'Dogs will wear special commemorative uniforms that are being auctioned off online and will continue to be auctioned off during the game. If you would like to place a bid, visit goswampdogs.com or call 910-426-5900 during Saturday's game.
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.