Late Charge Finishes Short

Updated July 12 2017

In the first game after the All-Star break, the Sharks and the Pilots met in Hampton, VA. Wilmington struggled through seven innings, but battle to the end coming up just short 6-5 against Peninsula.

Pilot starter Jackson Wark retired the first seven Wilmington batters he faced.  Ward Coleman then walked in the third and reached third base with two outs. Justin Dean grounded out to the end the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Logan Augustine doubled with two outs against Daniel Johnson. The next batter, Drake McNamara, drove home the game’s first run with a singled to left field.

In the 4th, Peninsula added three more against Johnson. Sam Griggs and Scott Dubrule hit back-to-back singles with one out. Jonathan Embry then doubled home a run, and Dubrule scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Schneider. Augustine drove home the Pilots third run of the inning on a two out single into left, his second base hit of the game.

The next inning, the Pilots added one more run, when Spencer Horwitz scored on an error by Luke Morgan.

Meanwhile, the Sharks had a single hit in the first seven innings of the contest. Luke Morgan singled in the 4th but was one of five runners left stranded by the Sharks.

The game turned on its head in the top of the 8th inning when Ryan Fox took the mound for the Pilots. Ward Coleman singled to lead off the inning. The next two batters, Dan Wilson and Justin Dean both reached on errors by the shortstop. The second error scored Coleman and put runners on second and third.  Michael Sandle then crushed the second pitch he saw off the left center wall to score two runs on a triple. At this point, Wilmington trailed 5-3. Luke Morgan then struck out on a dropped third strike and on the throw to first Michael Sandle scored from third.  Trevor McCutchin and Dayton Dugas hit back-to-back doubles to tie the game at 5. The RBI was the first for Dugas this summer.

However, in the bottom of the 8th, Jonathan Embry walked to lead off the inning and then was sacrificed over to second. That ended Mitch Spence’s night of relief for the Sharks. Ryan Hedrick came in and allowed a sacrifice fly to center that advanced Embry to third. Then, on a 1-0 count, Hedrick’s pitch got away from Brian Parreira at the plate and allowed Embry to score.

In the 9th, Thatcher Coleman walked to lead off the inning but then was left stranded by Matt Mullenbach.

Ryan Fox (2-1) scores the win, while Mitch Spence (0-2) was responsible for Embry in the 8th so he gets the loss. Matt Mullenbach (2) gets the save for the Pilots.

Wilmington returns home to face Fayetteville tomorrow for the 7th time in Wilmington. 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 and follow us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball..


Sam Rubinoff