Colonial Heights, VA – The Morehead City Marlins reigned victorious on Saturday night as they defeated the Chili Peppers 14-9 in a thrilling back-and-forth contest. Will Walsh (Nebraska) got the start on the mound and hit for himself as the designated hitter. Tri-City would find the board first, as Danny Estrada singled ahead of Michael Dolberry’s monster home run to left field. The Chili Peppers would take a 2-0 lead to the top of the second when the Marlins struck back. Mike Kenney (Mount Olive) provided the spark the Marlins needed, as he smacked an RBI double into left to pull the score to 2-1. Nate Anderson (Gardner-Webb) then doubled in Kenney to even the score at 2-2 after the top of the second.
The Chili Peppers once again tried to provide some separation between themselves and the Marlins when William Bean pelted a solo home run over the wall to push the score to 3-2 after two.
With a 3-2 lead going in to the third inning, the Marlins once again found their offensive mojo. Dylan Rodgers (Appalachian State) singled ahead of Walsh, who blasted a ball over the wall to take a 4-3 Marlins lead. The Chili Peppers wouldn’t take long to find an answer, as Brandon Eike would blast a ball over the wall for his first of two home runs to pull the game even at 4-4.
The Marlins would break the tie in the top of the fifth inning, as Dan Tauken (Albany) would double ahead of a groundout from Kenney to score him and push the score to 5-4. With a 5-4 Marlins lead headed to the bottom of the fifth, Brandon Eike whacked the second of his two home runs over the wall in center to tie the game at 5-5.
Walsh would finish the pitching performance of his day after five innings, giving up nine hits and five runs, striking out five.
Tied at 5-5 going into the top of the sixth, the Marlins put two on for Walsh, who singled both runners in to take a 7-5 lead. With a two-run lead in the bottom of the sixth, southpaw Trent Anderson (Missouri St. Louis) came in and hurled a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.
The Marlin offense exploded for four runs in the seventh inning. With two runners on, Anderson laid down a bunt towards the Peppers pitcher Everett Vaughan, who airmailed the throw to first. McGwire Tuffy (Quinnipiac) scored on the play, and increased the score to 6-5, before Joseph Mershon (College of Charleston) whacked a two-RBI single to score two more Marlin runs. The offense wasn’t done in the seventh yet as Walsh drove in Mershon with a sacrifice fly for the fourth run of the inning to take a 11-5 lead. The RBI was Walsh’s fifth RBI of the game.
After the Marlins’ four run seventh inning, the Peppers came back with a three-run frame of their own. The scoring began when Danny Estrada came to the plate with a runner on and blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence. This would pull the score to 11-7 in favor of the Marlins. Alex Christie would then walk with the bases loaded and pull the score to 11-8.
The Marlins would plate two more runs in. the eighth with a wild pitch scoring Shayne Campbell (Reinhardt) and a Bobby Whalen (Indiana) RBI single bringing Zach Marriott (Hendrix College) across to push the score to 13-8 through seven-and-a-half innings.
Mershon walked with the bases loaded in the ninth to plate the Marlins’ 14th run, and the Chili Peppers headed to the bottom of the ninth with a 14-8 deficit. The Peppers pushed across their ninth run of the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with an RBI from Cole Garrett to push the score to 14-9, but Sebastian Meija (Texas Rio Grande Valley) got Alex Christie to fly out for the last out in the game.
All ten Marlin batters scored a run in their 14-9 win. With the win, the Marlins improve to 22-13 overall. After a Sunday off day, they will face the Wilson Tobs at home on Monday night in the last game before the all-star break. First pitch is scheduled for 7PM. The game will be available to stream on FloSports.