Morehead City, N.C. - - - The Morehead City Marlins sealed their first victory from Puck O'Neal at Big Rock Stadium in the 2017 season as the host Marlins claimed their second consecutive triumph in a 7-3 effort over the visiting Fayetteville SwampDogs Sunday evening. Marlins left-handed pitcher Joseph Whitt (Lander) earned his first save of the season with back-to-back crucial strikeouts in the top of the eighth inning to leave the bases loaded for Fayetteville.
Morehead City improves to 4-6 overall, while Fayetteville falls to 5-5. The Marlins return to action tomorrow evening, hosting the Holly Springs Salamanders from Big Rock Stadium. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. with the live broadcast being called on the CPL Web Pass. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:55 p.m.
Marlins designated hitter Kyle Skeels (Coastal Carolina) topped the MHC offensive charts, finishing 2-for-4 with a RBI and one run scored. Shortstop Chandler Corley (Armstrong State) was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Centerfielder Joe Mason (Wingate) went 1-for-3 with two runs scored for the hosts.
For Fayetteville, right fielder Marquise Lanier (Chowan) led the SwampDog bats with a 2-for-3 performance. Center fielder Jonathan Allen (San Francisco) finished 1-for-3, while left fielder Mike Spooner (Stetson) contributed a 1-for-3 effort.
The SwampDogs began the scoring in the opening frame on an error by Corley to grab the early 1-0 advantage. Morehead City responded quickly in the home half with an RBI groundout from left fielder Derek Olenchuk (Newberry) followed by an RBI single from Skeels to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. MHC never looked back from that point forward.
Morehead City tallied two more runs in the bottom frame of the fourth inning with a two-run bomb from third baseman Daulton Weeks (USC Aiken) to extend the margin out to 4-1. The Marlins added another insurance score on an RBI single from Corley to make it a 5-1 ballgame.
Fayetteville continued to fight with a run in the top of the sixth when catcher Nic Perkins (Drury) scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit down to 5-2. The Marlins tacked on two additional runs in the home half of the seventh inning to extend the advantage out to 7-2 on a RBI single by Corley, along with MHC catcher Ryan Clinch (UNC Greensboro) scoring on an error.
The SwampDogs tallied one more score in the top of the eighth with an RBI walk from Alex Hull (Cal State Northridge); however, the hometown Marlins held on for the 7-3 victory. MHC starting right-handed pitcher Cody Whiting (Pittsburg State) posted a solid effort on the mound, allowing one earned run on three hits with four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Whiting got the win, improving to 1-0. SwampDogs starting lefty Peyton Reesman (Pittsburgh) took the loss, falling to 0-2. Whitt earned his first save of the season in a stellar relief performance. The Lander Bearcat went 1 2/3 innings with no runs or hits allowed and three strikeouts.
The Morehead City Marlins close out the brief two-game homestand on Military Monday tomorrow night versus Holly Springs. First pitch set for a 7:05 p.m. start. MHC then hits the road for back-to-back games at Holly Springs (June 13) and Wilmington (June 14) with both contests beginning at the aforementioned 7:05 p.m. start.
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.