Morehead City, NC – The Marlins dropped game two of the first half 12-4 over the Peninsula Pilots on Monday night, as the bats put up a fight, but came up short, recording the first loss of the season against the Pilots. Jack Eshleman (Hamilton College) got the nod for the Marlins, allowed two Pilots on base with no one out, but got out of dodge with a Justin Starke fly out to right field to end the inning.

The bottom of the first started with a bang against Pilots starter Jake Clemente, as Trent Youngblood (Transylvania) strolled to the plate as the first Marlin batter of the game and sent a laser over the right center field wall for a leadoff home run to take a 1-0 lead. Nate Anderson (Gardner-Webb) would follow with a rainbow shot of his own over the right field fence to make it a 2-0 Marlins lead after the first inning.

The third inning started with a bang for the Pilots bats, and they took the lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. Trey Morgan walked ahead of Ryan Dooley, who doubled him in for the first Pilots run of the game to bring the score to 2-1. Later in the inning with two runners on base, Justin Starke parked a ball over the right field fence to push the score to 4-2.

The Pilots would add on in the fourth inning against Eshleman. Aaron Manias led off the inning with a triple and Cole Stanford singled him in for a 5-2 game. Steven Lacey (Delta State) came on in the fourth inning in relief of Eshleman and allowed a single and a 2 RBI double to Ryan Dooley to push the score to 7-2.

Eshleman finished his line with three-and-a-third innings pitched, giving up six hits and six runs with two walks and three strikeouts.

With two runners on in the bottom of the fifth, Scott Young (Rutgers) dribbled a single up the middle scoring two runs and making the score 7-4 through four.

The Pilots would break the game open in the top of the fifth inning, scoring four runs off Kristian Asbury (Troy) in relief. Asbury gave up four hits with a walk, striking out one batter. Down 11-4 to start the bottom half of the fifth, the Marlins loaded the bases against Trey Morgan, but could not push across a run, as Morgan got Young to pop up to end the threat.

The Pilots pushed across their twelfth and final run of the day when Morgan reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a sacrifice fly, and came home to score on a Dooley single to increase the Pilots lead to 12-4.

The Marlins would inch closer in the bottom of the eighth, as Youngblood walked to lead off the inning, and advanced to third on a two base throwing error by the Pilot pitcher and came around to score on a wild pitch to bring the game to 12-5.

The Marlins scored their final run of the night when Dan Tauken (Albany) came across to score on a wild pitch, but Pilots hurler Michael Caldon struck out Young swinging to end the game with a 12-6 Pilots win.

With the loss, the Marlins drop to 17-9, and 1-1 in the second half. Following a stretch of nine games in eight days, the Marlins have an off day on July 4th before Wilmington comes to town on the 5th. First pitch is scheduled for 7PM from Big Rock Stadium. The game will be available to stream on FloSports.