Morehead City Survives in a 6-5 Thriller Wilmington

WILMINGTON, NC – The Marlins continued their winning streak in a close contest on Saturday night, defeating the Wilmington Sharks 6-5. The offense executed a balanced attack, tallying 7 hits.

Two newcomers made their debuts for the Marlins: Chris Mancill (Point) as the starting catcher, and Tanner Cannon (Francis Marion) starting in center field. Ryan Devanney (Stetson) took the mound for the Marlins and delivered a spectacular game.

The Marlins’ offense kicked off in the second inning when two singles put runners on base for Mancill, who then drove a single into center field, bringing Cannon home for the first run of the night. With a 1-0 lead after the second inning, the Marlins were not done yet. Wilmington’s starter, RJ Sales, walked the bases loaded in the third inning, setting the stage for Will Walsh (Nebraska) at the plate. Walsh lined a single past Wilmington’s first baseman, Blake Barton, scoring two more runs for the Marlins, putting them ahead 3-0. With Jeremy Piatkiewicz on third base and no outs, Dylan Rogers (Jacksonville State) hit a ball to second base, resulting in a double play, but Piatkiewicz managed to score, extending the Marlins’ lead to 4-0.

Devanney finished his start with a flourish, delivering four no-hit innings, his longest outing of the season. The Marlins had another scoring opportunity in the fifth inning when Sharks’ pitcher Myles Daniels walked the bases loaded, and then Alex Fitz-Hugh took the mound. Fitz-Hugh walked Trent Youngblood (Transylvania), pushing the Marlins’ lead to 6-0.

Wilmington managed to mount a comeback in the later innings, scoring runs in each of the last three frames.

The Sharks got on the scoreboard in the seventh inning against Tyler Deluzio (Lenoir CC) when AJ Mendolia hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring their first run. With a score of 6-1, the Sharks scored again in the eighth inning as Ethan Wilder singled to center, driving in Blake Barton and making it 6-2, with the Marlins still in the lead.

Wilmington’s hopes stayed alive as David White came in to pitch and faced just four Marlins batters. In the bottom of the ninth, the Marlins made an unusual pitching change, bringing in Mike Kenney (Mount Olive), who is typically a catcher and infielder. Kenney faced his Mount Olive teammates, Case Kermode and Dylan Jeffries, allowing a hit from Kermode and striking out Jeffries. Mendolia then hit an RBI single to score Kermode, closing the gap to 6-3. Connor Powell smacked a double, putting runners on second and third. The Marlins decided to put another position player, Dan Tauken (Murray State), on the mound. Barton immediately singled, scoring Mendolia and putting runners on the corners, closing in at 6-4. Luke Nowak knocked a base hit into center field, scoring Powell and making it 6-5 with just one out. Tauken, in a tough situation, struck out Chase Nixon and forced an Ethan Wilder groundout, securing the 6-5 win for the Marlins.

With this victory, the Marlins move to 30-14 in Coastal Plain League play, with only four games left before the playoffs. Next up, the Marlins will face the Wilson Tobs on Tuesday, August first, with a 7 PM start time. You can tune in to the Marlins MIXLR stream to listen to the game.