MOREHEAD CITY, NC — Down by a run in the bottom of the 6th inning, Hunter Shepherd (Catawba) locked in against the left-handed pitcher Aidan McCallister (Georgia Southern) for the Wilmington Sharks.
In a left-on-left matchup, Shepherd took a rip at a 2-0 fastball and parked it over the right field fence for a three-run homer, driving in what would be the winning run in an 8-6 Marlins victory. It was Shepherd's 5th long ball of the summer.
The Sharks got out to a hot start at Big Rock Stadium on Monday night, with Clemente Inclan (UNC) taking Connor Schultz (Butler) deep for a three-run homer in the 1st inning. The long ball was only the 2nd allowed by Schultz all year, and his first in the month of July.
The Marlins chipped away in the following innings though, scoring once in each the 1st and 2nd before Jacob Reimold (St. Leo) tied the game with an RBI double in the 3rd. Colby Johnson (Charleston) gave the Marlins the lead with an RBI single later in the inning.
While that lead held temporarily for the Marlins, the Sharks fought back in the 6th, scoring three runs off of Tyler Blomster (Colorado School of Mines) before Eric Miles (Presbyterian) finished off the inning.
But the Sharks lead was short-lived thanks to Shepherd's swing in the 6th, and Jace Mercer (Cincinnati) added an RBI double in the 7th to extend the lead to 8-6. Mercer was one of 5 Marlins with a multi-hit night in their 13-hit performance.
And that lead held thanks in large part to the dominant relief work from Eric Miles. Not only did Eric Miles finish off the 6th inning, but he threw the final three innings as well without allowing a run. Miles earned his 5th win of the season, tying him for the team lead.
The win was the 11th for the Marlins in 12 games against the Sharks, and the Marlins have now won 5 of their last 6 contests overall. They improve to 29-13 on the summer, the most wins the CPL.
The Marlins are off for the next two days, before hosting the Holly Springs Salamanders on Thursday.