MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — The Marlins defeated the Wilmington Sharks 13-1 to secure game one of the first round of the Petitt Cup Playoffs on Sunday night. Nick McCollum (Georgia Southwestern State) started on the mound for the Marlins, while David White started for the Sharks.
Morehead City got off to a strong start as McCollum faced just four batters in the top of the first inning. They continued their momentum in the bottom half, scoring three runs on a Will Walsh (Nebraska) home run to left field.
The Marlins added another run in the bottom of the second when Dylan Rogers (Jacksonville State) singled and reached third base on an errant throw to first by Sharks pitcher David White. The Sharks then replaced White with Alex Fitz-Hugh after he walked Zach Marriott (Hendrix College). Fitz-Hugh attempted to pick off Marriott, but the throw was just late, and Rogers capitalized on the opportunity, stealing home to extend the Marlins’ lead to 4-0.
The Sharks’ lone run came in the top of the third when Luke Nowak (Indiana) doubled and later scored on a Cam Burgess RBI groundout, making it 4-1 in favor of the Marlins.
The most successful inning for the Marlins was the bottom of the third, where they plated five runs and sent 11 batters to the plate. Jeremy Piatkiewicz (East Stroudsburg) led off with a walk, and Walsh was hit by a pitch to set the stage for Damaurys Rodriguez’s (Rollins College) three-run home run, giving the Marlins a commanding 7-1 lead. Landon Choboy (Mount Olive) followed with a base hit, and Marriott was hit by a pitch before the Sharks brought in Brice Herring to pitch. Trent Youngblood (Transylvania) then hit a single to score Choboy, and McGwire Tuffy (George Washington) followed with a walk, loading the bases. Piatkiewicz was walked, bringing home Marriott and extending the Marlins’ lead to 9-1.
In the fourth inning, the Marlins continued their offensive onslaught, adding two more runs. Rodriguez led off with a double, Choboy followed with a base hit, and Rogers knocked an RBI single to bring home Rodriguez. Marriott then reached base on a Sharks error, loading the bases for Bobby Whalen (Virginia). Whalen hit a ground ball back to Sharks pitcher Brice Herring, who forced the out at home plate. Youngblood was then walked, bringing home Rogers and increasing the Marlins’ lead to 11-1.
The final two runs for the Marlins came in the bottom of the fifth. Rodriguez singled, and Choboy followed with a blast that landed on the warning track in center field for an RBI double. Choboy advanced to third as Stephen DiTomaso mishandled the ball on the throw-in. Choboy then scored on a Rogers ground ball that was bobbled by Sharks first baseman Cam Burgess, extending the Marlins’ lead to 13-1.
Marlins pitchers Ty Bothwell and Logan Murphy (Catawba Valley) combined to deliver three straight three-up, three-down innings in the sixth, seventh, and eighth.
Brantley Cutler (Maryland Eastern Shore) came in to pitch the ninth inning and faced just four batters to close out game one of the playoffs with a convincing 13-1 victory for the Marlins.
The Marlins will travel to Wilmington on Monday night, August 7th, at 7 PM to face the Sharks in game two, with a chance to secure a spot in the Petitt Cup Championship Series.