Owls Walk Off in Pitchers Duel

Updated June 18 2017

      Contrary to Saturday night in Forest City, a game against Martinsville that the Owls won 12-6, Sunday was a pitchers duel that stayed scoreless for 7 innings.

Saturday’s game had 18 runs and 25 hits. Sunday’s contest against the Asheboro Copperheads (3-11) had 3 runs and 12 hits.

The Owls (12-4) were able to prove on Father’s Day that they can play in any kind of game, whether it is a slugfest or pitchers duel.

On the mound, Forest City looked to Dylan Burns (South Florida) who had a team-worst 11.42 ERA in 2 appearances coming into the night.

Burns settled in beautifully on Sunday, tossing four scoreless innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

His night was cut short when he came out to pitch the 5th. Burns began complaining about soreness in his right elbow and was taken out of the game. According to the team trainer, it is not serious.

Forest City then looked to Tyler McAlister (Missouri State) in the bullpen. McAlister pitched two innings of scoreless ball, walking two and striking out one.

For Asheboro, they looked to right-hander Bryce Tassin (Southeastern Louisiana) on the mound, who had not started a game all season.

Tassin was magnificent for the Copperheads, pitching 8 innings, giving up one run, issuing one walk and striking out nine Owls batters.

That one run came in the 8th, when Forest City finally broke the deadlock.

Following a one out walk to Chase Barbary (Western Carolina), Ryan Kemp (Middle Tennessee State) came in to pinch-run. Kemp, who was injured in Saturday’s game against Martinsville, was playing with a sprained wrist.

Two batters later, Tyler Miller (Anderson) hit an infield single to first base that brought in Kemp to score from second, as the Copperheads couldn’t make the play anywhere.

That gave the Owls a 1-0 lead heading to the 9th inning.

In the 9th, Charlie Ruegger (Stevens Institute) climbed the mound for his third inning of work out of the pen for the Owls.

After surrendering back-to-back base hits to start the inning, the Copperheads had runners at the corners with nobody out.

Caleb Webster (UNC-Greensboro) hit an RBI double that brought in Russell Schwertfeger (USC-Upstate) to score. On the same play, Miller threw out Kyle Smith (Catawba) at home, who was trying to score from first, which would have given Asheboro the lead.

Ruegger maneuvered his way out of the inning, surrendering only one run, sending the game to the bottom of the 9th.

After the first two Owls were retired in the inning, Connor Grant (North Greenville) reached base on an error as a pinch-hitter.

Following a single to right by Mason Dodd (Lander), runners were at the corners for Seth Hoagland (Iona) with a chance to win the game as a pinch-hitter.

Hoagland did just that, bringing in Grant to score on an RBI double to deep left-center to give Forest City a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Asheboro Copperheads.

“It’s a great win. For me, it’s just these guys staying locked in.” Owls head coach Matt Reed said. “Hopefully we can keep this momentum going for tomorrow.”

Forest City returns to action tomorrow for the final game of this four game home stand to take on the Gastonia Grizzlies (11-6). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at McNair Field.

As always, make sure to tune in to the Forest City Owls Radio Network for continuous coverage of Forest City Owls baseball for all home and away games.

To find out more about 2017 Owls Season Tickets, please contact the Owls Office at 828-245-0000 or visit the website at www.forestcitybaseball.com.

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..


Zachary Penrice