WILSON, N.C. – A five-run bottom of the first inning fueled a 6-3 victory for the Wilson Tobs on Thursday night against the Edenton Steamers at Historic Fleming Stadium. Reliever Luis Acosta closed the door on the Steamers in the ninth inning to snap a three-game losing streak in Coastal Plain League action.
Over 2,000 fans were treated to a Tobs victory and a post-game band on Thursday night as part of Throwback Thirsty Thursday and the RA Jeffreys Band Series. The Tobs also held a celebration for its School's Out Summer Kickoff "Swing for the Fences". The contest was sponsored by S.T. Wooten, Bojangles, Wilson Medical Center, RA Jeffreys, and Deans Farm Market.
Five different Tobs recorded a hit in the contest as right fielder Carson Freeman gave Wilson a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with his two-run double. Catcher Shamoy Christopher, designated hitter Ben Faso, and first baseman Caleb Dean each recorded an RBI for the Tobs. Wilson also tallied 11 walks at the plate as Faso paced the Tobs with three, while Brenton Doyle and Antwuan Tucker each notched two.
The Tobs took a quick 1-0 advantage as Christopher plated Doyle with a single through the left side. Faso would later follow with a bases-loaded walk to increase the lead to 2-0. Freeman doubled the lead for Wilson as he laced a double into left field to score Patrick Frick and Christopher. An RBI-groundout from Dean allowed Faso to score and cap the five-run frame for the Tobs.
Wilson starter Chris Kernen would get some help from his defense through the early portion of the contest, stranding at least one runner on base in each of first five innings. Kernen worked around a pair of walks in the top of the third inning to strand both runners on base and keep the 5-0 lead intact.
The bottom of the third inning seemed poised to be another huge one for the Tobs as Dean, Jacob Nester, and Doyle each reached base after Edenton recorded the first two outs in the frame. The Steamers would escape and damage in the inning as Tucker grounded out to second base for the third out.
Edenton would find its way onto the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning against Kernen as a double to left field plated a run to trim the deficit to 5-1. Kernen ended the inning with a strikeout to leave a runner on base. The Steamers added another run in the top of the sixth inning against the Wilson bullpen as an infield single allowed a runner to score from third base.
The Tobs ended a scoreless drought in the bottom of the seventh inning as Faso scored from second on a throwing error by the Steamers that allowed Freeman to reach first and extend the lead to 6-2. Wilson would find itself with a pair of runners on base and one out before the Edenton bullpen recorded the next two outs to end the frame.
Holding a four-run lead entering the top of the eighth inning, the Tobs looked to close the door on the Steamers but would see Edenton deliver a two-out single to left field to trim the deficit to 6-3. Reliever Jared Gallagher got Rich Ciufo to hit a grounder back to the mound to end the inning and escape a bases-loaded situation in the process.
Luis Acosta recorded his first save of the season after working a 1-2-3 top of the ninth inning for Wilson. Acosta tallied back-to-back strikeouts to preserve the 6-3 victory for the Tobs. Kernen (1-0) notched his first win for the Tobs after limiting the Steamers to one run off three hits while fanning five batters and walking three. Eddy Tavarez tossed 1.1 scoreless innings of baseball for the Tobs after taking over for Ethan Collins in the sixth inning.
Alex Hart (0-1) was handed with the loss for Edenton after exiting the game in the bottom of the second inning. Reliever Charles Hall recorded the final out of the inning and would keep Wilson off the scoreboard over the next four innings. Ryan Scharf tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth for the Steamers. Anthony Warneke went 2-for-3 on the night for Edenton to go along with a pair of RBI and two walks.
The Tobs hit the road for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday as Wilson travels to Martinsville, Va. for the first time this season to face the Mustangs at 7:15 p.m. Wilson then heads to High Point-Thomasville on Saturday night for a 6 p.m. matchup with the HiToms. On Sunday, June 10th the Tobs host Bang for Your Buck Sunday along with Bark in the Park and Faith & Family Night. Bring your friends, dogs, and donations while enjoying $1 hot dogs, popcorn, and $2 snow cones courtesy of The Cottage Animal Clinic, Professional Drug Screening Services, Inc., Life 103.1 FM, EmergeOrtho, and State Farm – Jana Lake.
The Wilson Tobs enter their 22nd season as a founding member of the Coastal Plain League. The upcoming season for the Tobs will see an expanded community outreach effort, increased participation in helping the less fortunate, a Pettit Cup Championship team, 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, Corporate 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 www.wilsontobs.com.
Season tickets and ticket packages are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (252) 291-8627, or by visiting www.wilsontobs.com/tickets.