MOREHEAD CITY, NC – It was great to have 1200 of our closest friends back at The Rock.

After honoring the 2019 Petitt Cup Championship team before the game, The Marlins sent the fans home happy Friday night, taking control early and never looking back, beating the Wilmington Sharks 7-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the Golden Chumbucket series.

“Great to be back in front of our fans tonight,” Marlins head coach Jesse Lancaster said. “Jack Myers and Ryder Yakel both pitched well, and we started being more aggressive early in counts.”

Myers (Butler) got the start, going 4 and 2/3 innings, allowing 2 earned runs, racking up 5 strikeouts with no walks. Yakel (Harding) got the win in relief, pitching 2 and 1/3 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts.

Jack Harris (Newberry) got the Marlin offense rolling in the first inning, manufacturing a run all on his own. He singled to left, stole second base, advanced to third on a throwing error by the Wilmington catcher, and then scored when Jordan Johnson (Arkansas-Monticello) got caught in a rundown between first and second base.

Wilmington took their first lead of the game in the top of third off a two-run home run by Zack Budzik that just snuck over the outstretched glove of Marlins left fielder Sean Johnson.

The Marlins didn’t take long to answer. Caleb Morris (Pitt CC) led off the Marlin 3rd with a double, the first of three doubles on the night for him. He was driven home on another double from Justin Johnson (Lafayette), who was then driven by a triple from Harris. The Marlins retook the lead 3-2, and never looked back.

They added another run in the 4th, and then the first Marlin home run of the 2021 season belonged to Jordan Johnson to lead off the sixth, a towering shot over the left field fence. At that point, the Marlins led 5-2. Sean Johnson (Belmont Abbey), added a two-run single in the seventh inning to round out the scoring for the Marlins.

Jordan Morales (La Salle) pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, and Trey Jernigan (UNC-Asheville) pitched a scoreless 9th inning to close the door.

The Marlins are off tomorrow, and return to The Rock Sunday evening to take on the Tri-City Chili Peppers for the first time. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 PM. Country music star Mitchell Tenpenny will play a concert before the game, and very few tickets are still available. Buy them here.