HAMPTON, Va. – After losing a five-run lead, the Peninsula Pilots scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to secure a 6-5 victory over the Wilmington Sharks on Wednesday night at War Memorial Stadium.
After two scoreless innings, the Pilots pushed across a run in the third inning with a two-out rally. Logan Augustine (Lincoln Memorial) hit a two-out double to right field to keep the inning alive. The reigning CPL Hitter of the Week selection, Drake McNamara (Southern Indiana) continued his torrid streak with a RBI single to left field.
Peninsula extended their lead with three more runs in the fourth inning. Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) hit a one-out single to right field and moved to second on an infield single by Scott Dubrule (Jacksonville). Jonathan Embry (Liberty) plated Griggs with a double hit to the deepest part of the ballpark. A sacrifice fly by Matt Schneider (Mercyhurst) was just deep enough to allow the speedy Dubrule to barely beat the throw home. Augustine put the Pilots ahead 4-0 with an opposite field single to score Embry from second.
With a comfortable lead by the offense, Jackson Wark (St. Louis) kept the Sharks off balance. The right-hander only allowed a hit, which was in the fourth inning. The Sharks threatened in the fifth inning with the first two runners reaching. After Wark got a flyout, head coach Hank Morgan went to the bullpen and asked Nathan Eaton (VMI) to put the fire out. A runner was caught trying to steal third and Eaton got the final out of the inning with a strikeout to maintain the advantage.
Peninsula tacked on an insurance run in the fifth inning with a run being scored on a Sharks error.
After not being able to score in two innings when Colt Harlow (James Madison) on the mound, Wilmington tied the game up with five runs in the eighth inning off Ryan Fox (VCU). A couple errors along with a two-run triple from Michael Sandle (South Alabama) and a RBI double by Dayton Dugas (Wichita State) quickly tied the game.
Peninsula retook the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Embry scored on a wild pitch. Embry led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a pitching change, a fly out advanced Embry to third and put him in prime position to score the go-ahead run on the wild pitch.
After a leadoff walk in the ninth, Matt Mullenbach (Lincoln Memorial) came in and retired the next three batters, two of them by strikeouts, to secure his second save of the season. The late run allowed Fox to even his record to 1-1 on the season. Mitch Spence (USC-Aiken) fell to 0-2 on the season.
The Pilots hit the road for two games in North Carolina with a matchup in Holly Springs on Thursday night before heading to Wilson on Friday night. Peninsula will be back home on Saturday night as they host Holly Springs for YMCA Night and Yoga Night.
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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.