Speed’s Strong Start Not Enough for the Wolves

Updated June 08 2016

Despite seven strong innings from starter Connor Speed (Bates), the Florence RedWolves dropped a 3-0 decision to the Forest City Owls on Tuesday night (June 7th) in Coastal Plain League baseball action. The Wolves’ bats were silenced by Forest City starter Alex Evans (UT Martin), who tossed a complete-game shutout.

The RedWolves (2-3) will look to pick-up a win in the second-game of their four-game roadtrip. Florence heads to Lexington County on Wednesday night (June 8th) for a 7:05 p.m. contest with the Blowfish. The RedWolves then head to Savannah for a meeting with the Bananas on Thursday night (June 9th).

Center fielder Reece Hampton (UNC Charlotte), left fielder Mitchell Price (USC Aiken), designated hitter Andrew Selby (George Washington), and catcher Nathan Wierzgac (Lee) each tallied one hit for Florence. Speed, who suffered his first loss of the season, exited the contest after tossing seven frames for the Wolves. He surrendered two runs (one earned) on three hits, while walking three batters and fanning one.

Forest City (4-1) was paced offensively by right fielder A.J. Bumpass (Cincinnati) and catcher Adan Ordonez (North Carolina A&T) as they both finished the night 2-for-2 at the plate. Bumpass tallied his lone run batted in against Speed in the bottom of the fifth inning. Evans scattered four hits and fanned eight Florence batters in earning the win for the Owls.

The Owls would score the games first run in the home portion of the first inning against Speed and the RedWolves. With runners on first and third, Forest City looked to put both runners into scoring position with a stolen base, however, the throw from Wierzgac missed the target at second base and allowed the run to score from third.

Selby tallied the first hit for either side in the top of the second frame. Florence would strand Selby on the bases and send things to the home-half of the inning. Speed and Evans would trade scoreless frames heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Owls would increase their lead to 2-0 in the fifth inning as Bumpass delivered a two-out RBI-single to right field. The RedWolves would record the third out, thanks to Wierzgac as he threw-out a runner trying to swipe second.

RedWolves Head Coach Blake Maxwell made a move to his bullpen to start the bottom of the eighth inning. Maxwell would call-upon Michael Maiocco (Flagler) to keep the Owls at bay. The Owls would scratch one run across the plate with a sacrifice-fly to right field to stretch the lead to 3-0. Maiocco allowed one run on one hit, walked two batters and fanned one in his inning of work. Evans closed things out for the Owls as he worked a 1-2-3 top of the ninth inning.

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..


Doug Page


(843) 629-0700