Tobs win nail biter over Peninsula

Updated July 03 2017

The Peninsula Pilots had postgame fireworks cued up, as on the Fourth they will be on the road. However it was the Tobs looking up and smiling at the show, as they were road winners on Monday Night.

The Tobs hung on for a thrilling 3-1 win at War Memorial Stadium, taking two of three in the series against Peninsula and notching their first win of the CPL second half.

Pitching and early offense were the keys for the Tobs on Monday, who after the win went to 1-1 in the second half. Kyle Butler (Radford) scored from second on a Peninsula error in the opening frame to open the scoring. The next inning, Connor Leonard (Appalachian State) and Carson McCurdy (Mount Olive) opened the inning with a single and a double respectively, both to right field. A wild pitch allowed Leonard to score from third, and then Jake Hotlzapple (UNC) grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring McCurdy.

That’s all the Tobs would need to win.

Jeff Thompson (Belmont Abbey) started the game on the mound to make his 2017 Tobs debut. The left-hander tossed two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit. He was removed from the game after reaching his pitch limit for the night.

Hank Simpson (UNC-Pembroke) had the longest outing of the night for the Tobs, tossing four scoreless innings. The righty allowed three hits and struck out two, stranding runners in scoring position three of the four innings.

Henry Cartrett (USC-Aiken) turned in 1.2 innings for the Tobs in relief of Simpson. The Redshirt-Freshman left-hander gave up one earned run, but still turned in a quality outing, allowing only two hits and recording one strikeout. He would be lifted with two outs in the bottom of the eighth for KJ McAllister (NC A&T) who came on for the four-out save.

McAllister got the final out of the eighth and came out for the ninth with the Tobs leading 3-1. The first pitch he threw in the ninth appeared to hit the shin guard of catcher Zack Smith (UNC-Charlotte), but home plate umpire Jake Brichta ruled that it hit the batter Scott Dubrule’s leg. He walked the next batter, putting first and second on one out.

After the fourth ball thrown to then-hitter Spencer Horwitz, Smith was not happy with Brichta’s strike zone, nor was Tobs Manager Aaron Lynch (Davidson). Lynch charged out of the dugout in defense of his catcher and after a brief argument was ejected from the game by Brichta.

If Lynch was trying to fire his team up, it worked to perfection.

McAllister retired the next three hitters in order, including Johnathan Embry and Matt Schneider, who were selected as CPL All-Stars. After Schneider flied out to Tanner Johnson (Denison) in right field to end the game, McAllister was as fired up as ever, pumping his fists to celebrate the win.

“It was a great game. Those guys can really scrap.” said McAllister, “They fouled off some tough pitches and they were letting me hear it from the dugout, but that’s the good thing about close games like these. It was a great win tonight for us.”

The Tobs, 1-1 in the second half with the win, will play at home tomorrow against the Morehead City Marlins. The July 4th matchup marks the Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza at Historic Fleming Stadium presented by Thomas Law Attorneys. First pitch is set for 7:05pm.

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