MOREHEAD CITY, NC – “I hope we get to 140 by the end of the season.”
That was Marlins head coach Jesse Lancaster’s initial reaction after he picked up his 100th win as the head coach of the Morehead City Marlins in a 9-1 drubbing of the Peninsula Pilots on Wednesday night at The Rock.
“Easily our most complete performance of the season,” Lancaster said. “Got a solid start from Johnathan Lavallee, and I loved our situational hitting tonight. Guys not trying to do too much, and the hits came at the right times. When you start executing like that, good things happen, and that’s what happened for us tonight.”
The Marlin hit parade started with the scorching hot Conner VanCleave (Pitt State), who hit his first home run of the night to lead off the bottom of the 3rd inning. VanCleave then followed that up with a two-run home run in the five-run bottom of the 7th inning for the Marlins. VanCleave now has three home runs in the last two games for the Marlins.
The Marlins got two more runs in the 4th inning, when Joe Mason (Mount Olive) led things off with a single. He then came around to score from first base on a Jack Harris (Newberry) double to left center field. Harris was then brought home by an RBI groundout from Jordan Johnson (Arkansas-Monticello).
In the huge 7th inning, Sean Johnson (Belmont Abbey) led off with a walk, and he came around to score on the homer by VanCleave. Dominick Bucko (Youngstown State) singled, and he came around to score on another single from Mason. Mason then wheeled around to score on another hit from Harris.
Lavallee (Long Beach State) got the win, pitching 6 and 1/3 innings, giving up just 5 hits with 6 strikeouts. Jordan Morales (La Salle) had a solid relief outing, pitching 1 and 2/3 scoreless innings. Jon Vore (Butler) pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning to close the deal.
Lancaster was full of gratitude after the game.
“I just want to thank all the players that have made this happen,” he said. “I especially want to thank that first 2017 group that got me the first one, and I also want to thank Buddy (Bengel) for not having a short leash and keeping me on after that year. We’ve had a lot of fun over these few years, that’s for sure.”
No rest for the Marlins, as they head to Wilmington to continue the Golden Chumbucket series with the Sharks tomorrow night. The teams will play a doubleheader due to the rainout in Morehead City last Thursday. It will be two 7-inning games, with game 1 starting at 5:00 PM.
You can listen live to both games on the Morehead City Marlins radio network.