Updated August 02 2017
By Jack Flagler
GASTONIA — The Gastonia Grizzlies have played 51 of their 54 games in the Coastal Plain League regular season, but the last few contests will determine the Grizzlies’ Pettit Cup playoff hopes.
Gastonia entered Tuesday night’s doubleheader against the Savannah Bananas in a three-team cluster for the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 spots in the West division. That made their doubleheader sweep over the Bananas all the more crucial.
The Grizzlies took wins of 5-4 and 2-0 to move ahead of the Bananas in the standings and into a tie with High-Point Thomasville. Gastonia’s record heading into Thursday’s road game at Lexington County is 28-23. The HiToms are at 27-22 and the Bananas fell to 25-23.
Player of the Game: Nick Beinlich, Gastonia rightfielder
The Belmont Abbey outfielder hit a long three-run homer over the 380-foot sign in centerfield to put the Grizzlies ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the first inning. It was the second homer in as many games for Beinlich, who hit a grand slam in a 6-1 victory over Florence on Saturday night.
Beinlich finished the night 1 for 3 with three RBIs and a run scored. Since joining the Grizzlies in the middle of the summer, he’s hit three home runs with 10 RBIs in 18 games.
Big Moment: Abbey teammates produce winning run
Beinlich wasn’t the only Belmont Abbey player to contribute Tuesday night. In the bottom of the sixth, Thomas Yoder reached on a one-out double and came around when Crusaders teammate Matt McGarry singled off the second baseman’s glove.
That put Gastonia ahead 5-4 and proved to be the winning run. Jonathan Murphy earned the win in relief of another Belmont Abbey player – Blake Waldren. Murphy pitched 1 ⅓ innings of scoreless relief after Waldren allowed four runs in 5 ⅔ innings of work.
Player of the Game: Josh Maciejewski, Grizzlies pitcher
The Charlotte 49ers lefthander set down 13 in a row between a second-inning Logan Mattix single and a base hit from Terrence Pinkston in the sixth. Maciejwski tossed a complete game three-hitter, struck out eight with no walks and earned his first win of the year.
He improves to 1-1 on the year with 31 strikeouts and nine walks. His ERA on the season is now 3.00
Big Moment: Yett sets the tone
Maciejewski pitched the entire game with a lead thanks to a solo homer from Yett in the first inning. A teammate of Maciejewski with Charlotte, Yett hit a low line drive over the left field wall for his second home run of the year.
Connor Hawkins took the loss, allowing the lone run on the Yett solo homer in three innings of work.
Up Next: The Grizzlies visit Lexington County on Thursday. They have just two remaining home games on the regular season schedule, Friday against Asheboro and Monday against High Point-Thomasville. The Bananas host the Blowfish back at Grayson Stadium on Wednesday night.
Jack Flagler: email@example.com. Twitter: @jflaglerThe Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had over 1,400 alumni drafted and 106 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 Twitter @CPLBaseball.Contact: