Morehead City, N.C. - - - The Morehead City Marlins tied a season-high 10 total hits as the hosts fell to the visiting Wilmington Sharks in a wire-to-wire 10-6 affair from Puck O'Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium Friday evening. Marlins centerfielder Joe Mason (Wingate) led the MHC offensive efforts with a 1-for-3 performance, tallying a solo home run with two RBIs and one run scored.
Marlins fall to 2-6 overall, while Wilmington improves to 4-4. Morehead City returns to action tomorrow night when they travel north to Hampton, Va. to face the Peninsula Pilots in a CPL East division showdown. First pitch is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start.
Marlins designated hitter Derek Olenchuk (Newberry) supported Mason's efforts going 2-for-5 at the plate with an RBI. Right fielder Nick Gobert (Southern Indiana) was 1-for-4 with an RBI in the contest.
For Wilmington, first baseman Riley Knudsen (College of Charleston) led all batters finishing 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Designated hitter Dominic Cuoci (Saint Joseph's) went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and one run scored. Left fielder Cory Everett (Guilford Tech CC) posted a 2-for-3 mark with run driven in.
Wilmington struck first in the contest on RBI singles from Everett and center fielder Michael Sandle (South Alabama) to grab the early 2-0 advantage in the top of the first inning. The Marlins answered quickly with a lead-off home run from Mason to cut the deficit down to 2-1. An RBI double from Olenchuk tied the contest at 2-2 in the bottom of the first.
Wilmington responded with a pair of runs in the top of the second on a two-run single from Cuoci to break the tie at 4-2. The back-and-forth affair continued in the home half of the second with the Marlins two more scores to knot the contest up at 4-4.
The Sharks pushed across three crucial runs in the top of the third inning to grab the 7-4 advanatge and never looked back. Neither team would score until the Marlins trimmed the margin down to 7-5 after Gobert was hit by a pitch to score Jackson Ware (Mercer).
A two-run shot from Knudsen extended the Wilmington lead out to 9-5 in the top frame of the eighth inning before Morehead City cut the deficit down to 9-6 on a RBI single from Ware in the home half. The visiting Sharks added one more score in the top of ninth to make it 10-6 and hold on for the victory.
Wilmington starting right-handed pitcher Breydan Gorham (UNC Wilmington) got the win, improving to 1-0. Morehead City starter Patrick McDonald (Notre Dame) took the loss, falling to 0-1. Sharks righty Evan Brabrand (NC State) earned his first save of the season. MHC right-handed pitcher Marshall Thompson (Lander) led the Marlins pitching staff with only one hit allowed in two innings pitched with four strikeouts.
The Morehead City Marlins return to Puck O'Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium Sunday evening when they face the Fayetteville SwampDogs for a 7:05 p.m. start, closing the second week of the CPL regular season.
About the CPL
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 95 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 Twitter @CPLBaseball.