Updated June 02 2017
The Peninsula Pilots fended off the visiting Wilson Tobs for their third consecutive victory to begin the season with a 4-3 victory on Friday night at War Memorial Stadium.
A superb outing by Colton Harlow (James Madison) and crucial moments by the Pilots bullpen allowed the team to propel in their home opener at War Memorial Stadium.
For the third straight game, the Pilots (3-0) found the scoreboard first. Scott Dubrule (Jacksonville), making his Pilots debut, singled up the middle and moved to third on a passed ball and wild pitch. Jack Owens (Virginia Tech) brought in Dubrule with an infield single to second base. Later in the inning, Owens swiped second base, his third stolen base of the season, to set up Logan Augustine’s (Lincoln Memorial) RBI double to put the Pilots ahead 2-0.
Peninsula added another run in the second frame when newcomer Ruben Someillan hit a double down the left-field line to score Jonathan Embry (Liberty) to push the lead to 3-0.
Harlow, who was a member of the Pilots during the 2016 summer, set the bar high with his first start of the season. The left-hander tossed 4 2/3 hitless innings while striking out five before giving way to the bullpen.
The Tobs (1-3) pushed across a run in the fifth when Jordan Clark (Concord) gave the visitors their first hit of the game to score Dawnoven Smith (North Carolina A&T).
In the seventh, Wilson cut their deficit to one on a RBI groundout by Clark to score Smith.
Peninsula scored a crucial insurance run in the eighth inning to add some extra comfort to their lead. Tyler Nelin (George Mason) led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a failed pickoff throw. Later in the inning, a double play ball allowed Nelin to move to third before a crucial pinch-hit single by Matt Schneider (Mercyhurst) scored Nelin to make it 4-2.
The insurance run would prove to be important as the Tobs made things interesting in the top of the ninth. A hit by pitch started the inning and a bunt single by Tanner Johnson put the tying run on the bases with no outs. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. A groundout by Clark allowed the Tobs to pull within one and move the tying run to third base. Tad Ratliff (Lenoir Rhyne) rebounded to strike out the next two batters to earn his first save of the season and preserve the victory.
Sam Luchansky (Belmont Abbey) took the loss for the Tobs, giving up four runs on five hits in seven innings of work. Clark led the Tobs by driving in all three runs.
The Pilots will hit the road and face their arch rivals for the first time this season when they travel to Edenton to battle the Steamers at Historic Hicks Field on Saturday night. They will face Morehead City on the road Monday night before returning home to War Memorial Stadium to face the Steamers in a doubleheader on Tuesday night at 6:05 p.m.
For more information regarding the season, please visit www.peninsulapilots.com. For up to the minute details on Pilots Baseball be sure to “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @PeninsulaPilots. Also, be sure to download the Peninsula Pilots mobile app available for both iPhone and Android users! Use the #PilotsNation to spread the word about the Pilots!The 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: