Salamanders Spoil Night For Snakes

Updated June 02 2017

A large Chamber of Commerce Night crowd more than 2,000 Copperheads fans were all set to go home happy, but the Holly Springs Salamanders scored a pair of ninth inning runs and then stranded two Asheboro base runners in the bottom of the inning to spoil the festivities, stealing away with a 6-5 victory for their second one-run win in as many nights.

The Copperheads had taken the lead in a see-saw battle by scoring a single run in the seventh on a wild pitch and appeared to be in good shape to secure the win going to the ninth with ace closer Bryan Blanton on the mound. But a leadoff walk and then a dropped throw at first on a sacrifice bunt set the stage for a two-run inning and the Salamanders held on in the last of the ninth despite a couple of base on balls. Brett Brubaker doubled in the tying and eventual winning run in the top of the inning with a bases-loaded drive to the wall in left center.

Three of the five Asheboro runners that crossed the plate did so on either wild pitches or passed balls. Jeremy Simpson singled in one run and Daren Grabowski had an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Derek Perry had another big night at the plate for Asheboro, collecting three of his team’s eight hits. Perry has seven hits in the Coppeheads first three games.

Kameron Winburn, the fourth of five Holly Springs pitchers, got credit for the win by pitching a scoreless eighth and Michael Hope pitched the last of the ninth to chalk up his second save in as many games for the Salamanders.

Asheboro trailed 2-0 early, but the game was tied at 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 before the home team took their first lead of the night at 5-4 with a run in the seventh. Perry singled, stole second, moved up to third on an error and then scored on a wild pitch.

Starter Krystien Johnson-Battilana worked into the sixth for Asheboro before Leon Hunter came on and pitched effectively for an inning and two-thirds. Jacob Craver retired the side in order on five pitches in the eighth. Unfortunately, the Copperheads couldn’t close the deal in the ninth.

Asheboro will have a rare Friday off and will play at home again on Saturday night against rival High Point-Thomasville in their annual Veterans Appreciation Night game. There will be a special ceremony honoring veterans prior to the game and a big fireworks show afterwards. Game time is 7:05 p.m

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..


David Camp