Bullpen Falters Late Against Fayetteville

Updated July 13 2017

On a hot and muggy in Wilmington, the Sharks and SwampDogs met for the 12th time this season. After losing its first five at home against Fayetteville, Wilmington was looking for its second in a row against the visitors.

In the bottom of the 1st, Michael Sandle, Luke Morgan and Trevor McCutchin all hit 1 out singles to load the bases against SwampDogs starter Joey Gonzalez. Then, Danny Wondrack picked up where he left off before the All-Star break. The Sharks catcher lined a double down the left field line, which cleared the bases.  Wilmington did leave runners stranded on the corners with the 3-0 lead.

Wilmington added to its lead in the second frame. With 1 out, Justin Dean singled. The Sharks center fielder scored on the next play all the way from first base after a Michael Sandle blooped single into right field. Dean to advance to third on the hit and then scored on a throwing error by the right fielder Andrew Henrickson. Sandle, who advanced to third on the error, scored later in the inning on Luke Morgan’s sacrifice fly to right field.

The visitors threatened for the first time in the top half of the 5th. Fayetteville loaded the bases with nobody out against Sharks starter Jonathan Jahn. The southpaw responded with three straight groundouts to end the threat unscathed.

The SwampDogs would have better luck the next time around in the 6th inning. With runners on the corners and 1 out, Trent Franson singled against Sharks reliever Ryan Hall to put Fayetteville on the scoreboard. A Hall wild pitch moved the runners to second and third with just one away. Trevor McCutchin then robbed a base hit into right from Brett Helmbrecht but Matt Morrow tagged from third to cut the Sharks lead to three. The SwampDogs kept the inning alive with two outs Austin Edgette drove home a run and then a Jay Robinson single loaded the bases. Another wild pitch from Hall brought Fayetteville within 1. Hall’s night would come to a close after a Cam Locklear throwing error tied the game at 5. Colt Springs entered the game with two outs and runners on the corners in a 5-5 contest and got the first batter he faced to fly out to right.

In the 7th, Fayetteville took the lead for the first time tonight against the Sharks. Justin Hawkins double to left and then came home to score on the RBI single by Trent Franson. Wilmington answered in the bottom of the frame. Michael Sandle singled with one out and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt. The freshman from South Alabama scored the tying run on Luke Morgan’s second sacrifice fly.

In the top of the 9th, Fayetteville jumped back on top of Wilmington. Jayson Newman led off the inning with a single. Newman then advanced when Matt Morrow was hit by a pitch and took third on a wild pitch. Then with the bases loaded Newman scored on a ground ball back up the middle by Brett Helmbrecht.

The bottom of the ninth started with back-to-back strikeouts by Justin Dean and Michael Sandle. Luke Morgan then singled up the middle to put the tying run aboard. Trevor McCutchin then struck out looking to end the contest.

Fayetteville improves to 23-12 on the season and 9-3 against the Sharks. The loss drops Wilmington back below 0.500 to 18-19.

Griffin McLarty (5-0) scores the win, while Evan Brabrand (0-2) picks up the loss.

Wilmington hosts Morehead City tomorrow. First pitch from The Shark Tank is at 7:05. Coverage begins at 6:50 with Sharks Pregame on the CPL Webpass.

The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 22nd season in 2018, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 109 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball..


Sam Rubinoff