HAMPTON, Va. – The Peninsula Pilots dropped a back-and-forth battle 8-6 to the Edenton Steamers that snapped a seven-game winning streak at War Memorial Stadium on Thursday night.
The Pilots (24-16, 8-4) continued their recent trend of scoring early as they plated a run in their first at-bats. Jonathan Embry (Liberty) led off with a double to right-center. After a sacrifice bunt by Matt Schneider (Mercyhurst) moved Embry to third, Logan Augustine (Lincoln Memorial) plated Embry with a single to right field.
Edenton (23-16, 6-5) tied the game with a run in the third inning. Paul Rufo (Binghamton) lined a double to right field. A wild pitch moved Rufo to third and he came around to score on a Jamie Galazin (St. John’s) single to center field.
Peninsula retook the lead with a run in the third inning. Nathan Eaton (VMI) was hit by a pitch with one out. Embry sharply grounded out for the second out and Eaton was caught in a rundown between second and third. His swiftness paid off as he made it to third and came around to score on Schneider’s single to center for a 2-1 advantage.
The Steamers threatened in the fourth with runners on the corners with no outs. Kyle Hinton (Delaware) retired the next three in order with a pop out and two strikeouts to end the threat.
Edenton capitalized in the fifth to take the lead. Two walks set up runners on the corners with one out once again. A suicide squeeze attempt was successful to tie the game before an infield single by Jason Agresti (Binghamton) scored Galazin to put the Steamers on top 3-2. Chase Randolph (Lincoln Memorial) was called upon to get out of the jam and was successful with a strikeout to keep it a one-run game.
Galazin hit a bloop single just out of Embry’s reach in center field to extend their lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning.
Peninsula rallied back to take the lead with three runs in the seventh inning. Scott Dubrule (Jacksonville) beat out an infield single to start the rally. Two walks and a wild pitch brought the Pilots within one before Augustine knocked a two-run single up the middle to put the Pilots back on top.
Edenton responded with two runs of their own in the eighth to retake the lead. A one-out walk set up the tying run as Galazin continued to hurt the Pilots tonight with a double to left-center. Billy Wilson (Loyola Marymount) put the Steamers on top with a RBI triple to deep center. Later in the inning, a wild pitch allowed the Steamers to extend their lead to 7-5. Agresti added an insurance run with a RBI single to right-center.
Peninsula battled back in the ninth inning with a RBI single by Schneider to cut the deficit to two. The team had the tying run on the bases but a strikeout ended the game.
Andrew McDonald (Virginia Tech) moved to 4-3 on the season with the win. Nick Spadafino (Delaware) fell to 0-2 with the loss.
The Pilots will travel to North Carolina this weekend with games on Friday night in Wilson and Saturday night in Edenton before hosting Fayetteville at War Memorial Stadium on both Sunday and Monday nights.
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The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 97 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.