Wilmington, NC- The Marlins reign victorious over the Sharks Thursday night 12-2. This would be the first win in the season series as Wilmington won the first two games by one run each time. The Marlins came out with flames under their feet as Michael Gould walked and Trent Youngblood doubled him in to score the first run of the game.
Phillip Bernstein kept it rolling with a single that scored Youngblood. Braylin Marine then walked to put two on for the Marlins and then advanced after a Zach Marriott grounder. Bernstein then came around to score on a swinging bunt towards third base by catcher Shayne Campbell. A wild pitch by Wilmington starter Jack Nedrow brought in Marine for another run for the Marlins, as they would head to the bottom of the first with 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first Wilmington would fight back, as Drew Sturgeon and Ethan Wilder singled back-to-back and designated hitter Cade Kermode walked to load the bases against Marlins starter Cade Carlson. AJ Mendolia popped out to shortstop Braylin Marine before Carson Villalta flew out to Youngblood, which scored Sturgeon for their first run for the Sharks. This would make the score 4-1 in favor of the Marlins.
The defenses for both Wilmington and Morehead City put up scoreless frames until the fifth inning. Nedrow finished his outing for the Sharks, going 4 innings, while giving up 2 hits, striking out 3 batters, and allowing 4 runs. He would give way to lefty Bode Gebbink to start the fifth inning.
The Marlins separated themselves in the top of the fifth, Gould recorded the first out popping out to the Catcher Kyle Smith, followed by a Youngblood single to right field. Bernstein advanced Youngblood due to an error by Sharks third baseman Tanner Leonard. With two ducks on the pond, Marine blasted a deep ball toward left center field that disappeared into the Wilmington night sky, with the Marlins taking a 7-1 lead. Marriott followed up Marine’s home run with an infield single. Campbell would then bring him home on a single up the middle into shallow center field, to make the score 8-1 in favor of the Marlins. The Sharks then dove into their bullpen to place Benny Wilson on the mound. Wilson quickly retired the next two batters to send it to the bottom of the fifth.
The Sharks started the bottom of the fifth looking to create a rally, as Sturgeon reached first base after an error by catcher Shayne Campbell. Wilder slapped a base hit into shallow center field to put two on with no outs. Case Kermode followed up with a ground ball to shortstop Braylin Marine, who tossed it to second baseman Blake Falor. This would move runners to the corners with one out for the Sharks. Mendolia came up to the dish with two Sharks on. Two pitches in, Kermode was caught stealing to put two away. That didn’t shake Mendolia, as he singled into left field to bring home Sturgeon. This would propel the score to 8-2, with the Marlins still on top. The inning would end for the Sharks, as Cade Carlson struck out Villalta to end the 5th inning.
The Marlins came into the sixth hungry for more, as Evan Leibl walked and Gould singled to open the inning. Wilson then struck out Youngblood to retire the first batter of the frame. Bernstein smacked a double into left field, clearing the bases to score Leibl and Gould. This would put the Marlins ahead 10-2. Marine continued the scoring for the Marlins, as he hit a deep single to right field to score Bernstein. That would put an end to Wilson’s day as the Sharks elected to bring in Ried Dittner to finish out the sixth inning. Dittner walked Marriott and Campbell to begin his outing which loaded the bases for the Marlins. Dan Tauken grounded to second baseman Carson Villalta who threw it to shortstop Ethan Wilder to send Campbell to the dugout. That scored Marine to end the runs and put the Marlins ahead 12-2. Dittner ended the inning with Blake Falor grounding right to him and he threw it over to first baseman AJ Mendolia.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Marlins brought Joe Miceli in to take over the rest of the ballgame. In his Marlins debut, Cade Carlson, gave up 2 runs, while striking out 2 batters, and allowed 6 hits in 5 innings pitched. Miceli would put an end to the inning as he went 3 up and 3 down.
The Sharks top of the seventh was similar to the Marlins bottom of the sixth, as Trey Clucas came in to pitch, and recorded a 1-2-3 inning.
The bottom of the seventh came around, and the Marlins were three outs away from ending the game due to the ten-run mercy rule. Stephen DiTomaso led off for the Sharks, and zipped a single into right field. The hope would be short lived as Joe Miceli retired the next three batters in order to finish off the night and secure a Marlins victory.
The Marlins secured a winning record for the first time in the 2023 season, as they beat the Wilmington sharks 12-2, and advanced to 3-2 overall with a 2-2 CPL record. They are set to take on the Sharks for the third time this week on Friday, June 2nd. First pitch is scheduled at 7pm at Big Rock Stadium.