WILMINGTON, NC – Walk-offs are fun, when it’s you doing the walking off.
The Wilmington Sharks got a walk-off three run home run off the bat of David Smith in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat the Morehead City Marlins 7-6 on Saturday night at Legion Stadium.
“Yeah it sucks,” said Marlins head coach Jesse Lancaster. “We had our chances tonight. Had a sloppy third inning where Justin Kleinsorge lost command of his fastball a little bit, and we didn’t help him defensively. He got it back though, but we left too many guys on base. We were only able to tie the game in the 8th inning when I thought we had a great chance to go ahead, and when you give a team that many chances, stuff like this happens sometimes.”
The Marlins were down 4-0 after 5 innings, after the Sharks scored 3 runs against the starter Kleinsorge (Regis) in the 3rd. Only one of those three runs was earned. Kleinsorge finished with 4 innings pitched, just the one earned run with three strikeouts. The Marlins left a combined 5 men on base in the first 5 innings, including leaving the bases loaded in the top of the 2nd. Jack Myers (Butler) came in in the 5th inning, and he pitched 3 and 2/3 innings allowing 1 ER, with a walk and three strikeouts.
The Marlin bats were basically silent until the 6th inning. Tyler Clark-Chiapperelli (Washburn) led things off with a line drive double that just snuck inside the first base bag. After a pair of strikeouts, Sean Johnson (Belmont Abbey) beat out an infield single to third base, moving Clark-Chiapperelli up to third. Johnson stole second, and when Gibson Krzeminski (Canisius) struck out swinging, the ball got away from the catcher and both Clark-Chiapperelli and Johnson were able to score to cut the lead in half to 4-2.
It stayed that way until the top of the 8th, when Clark-Chiapperelli led things off again, this time with a walk. Jack Harris (Newberry) singled, and then Jordan Johnson (Arkansas-Monticello) got the biggest hit of the game for the Marlins, a rope of a double over the left fielder’s head to score both Clark-Chiapperelli and Harris to even the score at 4.
That’s where it remained until the 10th, when the CPL International Tiebreaker Rule goes into effect, putting two men on base with nobody out to start the inning. In the top of the 10th, the Marlins were able to push both of their international tiebreaker runners across the plate, first Dominick Bucko (Youngstown State) on a sacrifice fly from Jordan Johnson, and then Clark-Chiapperelli scored on yet another wild pitch to put the Marlins ahead 6-4 heading to the bottom of the 10th.
The Sharks sacrifice bunted their two international tiebreaker runners over to 2nd and 3rd, and that’s when Smith hammered a fastball from Ryder Yakel (Harding), sending it flying over the right field fence and sending himself into a waiting mob of his teammates at home plate.
The Marlins move to 4-2 on the year, and The Golden Chumbucket series is now tied at 2. The Marlins now have both Sunday and Monday off, and will return home to The Rock to continue the Chumbucket series with the Sharks on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. Tickets are available here.