Updated June 26 2017
The Asheboro Copperheads got their first walk-off win of the season in the opening game of a home doubleheader against Holly Springs Monday night, winning 4-3 on Kyle Smith (Catawba) bases-loaded gapper in the bottom of the eighth.
Then, with hopes high for a possible sweep, the Copperheads quickly jumped on the Salamanders for a pair of runs in the bottom of the first in Game 2. Unfortunately for the team, things were downhill from there as the visitors from Wake County scored in each of the next five innings and went on to a 10-3 win to gain a split.
It was a night when the team that scored first in both games lost. The Salamanders put a three-spot on the scoreboard in the first inning of Game 1, but the Copperheads chipped away scoring single runs in the the second, third and fourth innings to tie it and both teams hung goose-eggs on the board through the scheduled seven innings..
In the last of the eighth, catcher Vito Friscia (Hofstra) started the game-winning rally with a single and the Copperheads would go on to load the bases with no outs on a misplayed bunt and an intentional walk. That brought Smith to the plate and the team’s leading hitter from 2016 delivered by lining one into the gap in left center to end the game.
Devin Sweet (NC Central) had a rocky first giving up three runs, but settled down after that and held the Salamanders at bay through the seventh. Hunter Smith (Memphis) came on to pitch a 1-2-3 top of the eighth and got credit for the victory.
Dalton Hoiles (Shippensburg) hit a two-run homer off Sweet in the first, but the Salamanders managed just three hits the rest of the way. Sweet struck out eight and walked two. Smith fanned two of the three batters he faced in the eighth.
Asheboro collected 10 hits in the opener, with Clark Brinkman (Creighton), Friscia and Russell Schwertfeger (SC-Upstate) getting two apiece.
In Game 2, Holly Spring fell behind 2-0, but scored a single run in the second and then took the lead for good with a two-run third. Austin LaFollette (UNC Wilmington) belted a two-run homer in the fourth that made it 5-2 and then the visitors really broke it open when Caleb Potter (Southern New Hampshire) blasted a three-run homer in the fifth.
Jake Lee (UNC Greensboro) went the distance on the mound to get the win in Game 2, while starter Mason Fox (Gardner-Webb) went four innings for Asheboro and took the loss.
Clark Brinkman had a two-run single in the first for the Copperheads and Smith drove in their only other run in the game with a double in the fourth that hit off the top of the right field fence and stayed in play.
Asheboro will travel to High Point-Thomasville on Tuesday night and will be back home to face Martinsville on Wednesday night at 7:05. After a road trip to Lexington County Thursday, the Copperheads will play home games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights against Florence, Savannah and Forest City, respectively.