The Motorboaters cruised to another victory on Taco Tuesday night, securing the win over the Holly Springs Salamanders 10-5 and pushed their win streak to 11 going into the off-day on Thursday. Starter Brock Gillis (Portland) gave up a single to Mika Peterson and walked Nate Carriere to start off the ballgame, before retiring the next three batters in a row to end the threat.
The bottom of the first did not start off well for the Boaters, as they were retired 1-2-3 in order against Holly Springs starter Luke House. The top of the second coasted quickly, as Gillis walked Win Johns with one out, but rebounded with a fielder’s choice and a flyout to move to the bottom half.
Gillis would finish his day with two innings pitched, giving up no runs, walking out two and striking two.
An Evan Scavotto (Portland) walk, Trent Youngblood (Transylvania) fielder’s choice, and a Braylin Marine (Newberry College) single and stolen base had runners set up at the corners with one out, but House locked it down and got out of the inning unscathed.
Gillis would give way to Chas DeBruhl to begin the third, where the scoring would begin.
The scoring began with a Peterson bunt single and a Carriere single set the table for Andrew Grande, who knocked in Peterson with an RBI single. An error on the Motorboaters advanced the runners, before Carlos Pena sent a ball deep enough for Carriere to tag from third and score on a sacrifice fly.
Down 2-0 to start the bottom of the third, the bats got to work. A Zach Marriott (Hendrix College) leadoff double hooked down the right field line got the party started, and Joseph Mershon (College of Charleston) single continued the fun, before Michael Gould (Maryville) knocked a 2-RBI into the pasture to even the score.
DeBruhl allowed a leadoff single to Johns to lead off the inning and struck out the next two batters before Trent Anderson (Missouri St-Louis) came in to record the one pitch flyout to Gould. The bottom of the fourth did not begin in a promising fashion for the Motorboaters, as they put two quick outs on the board. With two outs, lightning struck. A Marriott walk and a Mershon single prompted a Salamander call to the bullpen with two on and two out.
Patrick Dunn came in for House and did not record an out. He plunked Nate Anderson (Gardner-Webb) to load the bases, before walking Gould to score a run, plunking Scavotto to score a run, and giving up a hard smash 3-RBI double by Youngblood to complete the five run rally, with all five runs going on House’s line and all runs coming with two outs. Jacob Coffin came out of the Salamander pen to dispatch Marine, and the 5-run fourth ended with nine Motorboaters being deployed to the plate. After the big inning, the Boaters led 7-2.
Kevin Opanel (Monmouth) would make his Motorboaters debut out of the pen to start the fifth, and houdini his way out of the big inning, walking two batters, but not allowing either to score. The bottom of the fifth would end similarly for the Boaters, with Coffin giving up a single to Mike Kenney (Mount Olive), but allowing no boaters to cross the plate.
The Salamanders would push across a run in the sixth, as Johns would be hit by a Opanel offering, steal second base, and advance to third on a passed ball. He then came in to score with one out on a Gavin Troutman RBI groundout to Marriott at third. The groundout would allow the Salamanders to inch a little closer, as they closed the top of the sixth down 7-3.
The Boaters captured the two-out magic in the bottom half, scoring three runs in the frame, after Scavotto walked, Youngblood was hit by a pitch, and Marine was plunked with an errant Coffin offering to load the bases for Dan Tauken (Albany), who sprayed a 3-RBI double into the outfield to clear the bases. The Motorboaters would end the frame with a 10-3 lead.
Opanel would exit the game going two innings, and giving up the one run in two innings, but securing the win in his Motorboaters debut. Nick McCollum (Georgia Southwestern) would enter in the seventh, and pitch to the tune of a 1-2-3 inning, before the Boaters would themselves go down in order in the seventh.
The Salamanders would make things in the eighth as a dropped third strike allowed Pena to get on before Ben Lumsden blasted a ball over the wall in right field to make it a 10-5 game. That’s where the score would stay as Matthew Driver would strike out Motorboaters in order to end the eighth.
Steven Lacey (Delta State) came on in the ninth to lock it down and struck out Andrew, Quinones, and Grande. He walked Pena before striking out Lumsden to end the game and send the fans home happy.
With the 10-5 win, the Motorboaters improve their record to 12-2 (combined as the Motorboaters, Fish Tacos, and Marlins), and head into an off day Wednesday with an 11-game win streak. The next game for the Motorboaters will be a trip to Virginia to visit the Chili Peppers on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 7PM from Shepherd Stadium. You can listen to the game on the Morehead City Marlins channel on Mixlr.