Tobs win 11-5 over Fayetteville

Updated July 18 2017

The Tobs were looking to snap a five-game losing streak and retake the lead in the season series with the Fayetteville Swampdogs, and they accomplished both of those goals on Tuesday night at Fleming Stadium.

The Tobs used both a great start from Cody Smith (Chowan) and great bullpen work from Will Edwards (Chowan) and Henry Cartrett (USC-Aiken) to earn their third win of the CPL second half (3-7).

In what was surely his best start of the year, Smith had all of his pitches working from the very beginning. The left-hander went 5.1IP, allowing four runs (two earned) on only three hits. Smith’s breaking ball was his put-away pitch all night long. He dominated the Fayetteville lineup for the majority of his outing, striking out ten Swampdogs, all swinging.

Unfortunately for Smith, he earned a no-decision on Tuesday. After walking three straight batters in the sixth (four total for the game), Smith was pulled in favor of his college teammate at Chowan, Will Edwards.

Edwards went 2.2 innings out of the bullpen, allowing one earned run on two hits and striking out one. And because the Tobs scored four times in the sixth inning, Edwards earned the win to go to 1-0 on the season.

Cartrett came on to pitch a scoreless ninth, retiring each of the three hitters he faced, including a strikeout to end the ballgame.

Offensively, the Tobs didn’t take their foot off the gas all night.

The Tobs opened the scoring in the third inning when Roberto Rivera (UNC Pembroke) grounded a single through the right side that scored Andre Nnebe (UC-Santa Clara) to give the Tobs a 1-0 lead.

The next inning, the Tobs extended the lead in a big way. Nnebe hit a three-run laser shot center field wall just to the left o the 405 sign for his third home run of the year, extending the Tobs lead to 4-0. It was the first time this season that Nnebe had homered in front of the home fans at Fleming Stadium.

After a run in the top of the fifth and three in the top of the sixth, Fayetteville had erased the lead and made it a 4-4 tie. The tie didn’t hold for long.

The Tobs put four more on the board in the bottom of the sixth. After a single by Jake Holtzapple (UNC) and a bunt single by AJ Hunt (NC A&T) started the inning, Fayetteville made a critical error. Three batters after Hunt, leadoff man Brady Lloyd (ECU) hit a ground ball to third base that went through the legs of Fayetteville third baseman Trent Franson (TCU). Holtzapple and Hunt scored on the play, giving the Tobs the lead for good. Later in the inning, Tobs cleanup man Dawnoven Smith (NC A&T) hit a 2-RBI single up the middle that scored Nnebe and Lloyd to give the Tobs an 8-4 lead. Smith finished the game 3-4 with 2 RBI.

The Tobs plated three more runs in the seventh inning. After Jake Holtzapple singled to lead off the inning, AJ Hunt cracked a 2-run home run over the left field wall, his first of the season. Hunt’s home run made it back-to-back multi-homer games for the Tobs, who clubbed two in Monday’s loss to Holly Springs.

Finally, Roberto Rivera drove in Nick Kitzmann (UC-San Diego), who had reached base with a single, with an RBI groundout to second.

Nine of the Tob’s eleven runs were scored by the 6-9 spots in the Tobs’ order, as Jake Holtzapple, AJ Hunt, and Nick Kitzmann scored two runs apiece, with ninth-hitting Andre Nnebe crossing the plate three times.

The Tobs got multi-hit games on Tuesday from Dawnoven Smith (3 singles), Jake Holtzapple (2 singles), AJ Hunt (single and home run) and Andre Nnebe (single and home run).

The Tobs will be back in action Thursday, July 20 against the Martinsville Mustangs from Fleming Stadium. Thursday will be Paint the Park Pink Night, where fans can bid on players’ pink jerseys. All proceeds will benefit the Wilson Community Health Center, given to women who cannot otherwise afford mammograms.

The Wilson Tobs enter their 21st season as an original member within the Coastal Plain League for the 2017 summer. The upcoming season for the Tobs will see an expanded community outreach effort, increased participation in helping the less fortunate and more exciting entertainment for the Wilson Community. We would like to dedicate each successful season to the Wilson Community, Coastal Plain League Organization, Host Families, Sponsors Partners and the Dedicated Fans throughout the city of Wilson. The Wilson Tobs have played host to over 100 alumni taken in the draft and have produced a dozen players who have gone on to play in the MLB, including Cy Young & MVP winner Justin Verlander. For more information on the Wilson Tobs, visit our website

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..


- Will Hibbard