HAMPTON, VA – The Edenton Steamers pulled away from the Peninsula Pilots late and held off a late rally by the Pilots to notch a 5-3 victory on Wednesday night at War Memorial Stadium.
With the Steamers holding a 2-1 lead in the 8th inning, Orlando Olivera (Missouri Baptist) delivered a three run shot to left field to give the Steamers some room to breathe. The homerun proved to be crucial as the Pilots rallied with two runs in the bottom half of the inning but would get no closer. With the Pilots trailing 5-1, Andres Nelo (Lee) started off the inning with an infield single. He would then come around to score on a Zak Orrison (Mount Olive) double over the left fielder’s head. Orrison advanced to third on the throw and proceeded to score on an RBI groundout by Kyle Johnson (Purdue) but that is all the Pilots would get.
The Pilots threatened again in the 9th inning against Edenton’s closer, Jake McCoy (Saint Catharine). The two teams were able to avoid weather all game long until the 9th inning and it looked to possibly have a huge impact. Kyle Searcy (Jacksonville) delivered a one-out single to give the Pilots some life. The hard rain was enough for Searcy to advance to second on a wild pitch. With two outs and Searcy on second, the game was stopped due to weather with a 1-2 count on Nelo. After a 16 minute delay, the umpires officially called the game and Edenton was able to notch the victory.
The Pilots got on the board first for the second straight game. After two quick outs, Garrett Brooks (East Carolina) knocked a single to left field. After stealing second, Brooks came around to score on a misplayed ball by the Steamers’ outfield.
Edenton knotted the game at one apiece in the 3rd inning. Dakota Wix (Cal State Fullerton) hit a deep fly ball over Brooks’ head that got down for a two-out triple. Nick Thompson (William & Mary) then followed with a single to center scoring Wix and tying the game. After trading zeroes for a few innings, the Steamers broke a tie with a sacrifice fly by Eric Rogers (Mars Hill), giving the Steamers a 2-1 lead.
Derek Justice (Mount Olive) got the nod for the Pilots in the home opener. Justice was solid over five innings, only giving up a run on three hits. A total of six pitchers got time on the mound tonight for the Pilots. Jordan Brooks (Georgia College & State) was charged with the loss giving up a run on three hits in an inning of work. Grayson Bailey (Lee) pitched 2/3 of an inning before giving way to Wes McGuire (Lenoir-Rhyne) to get out of a jam. Blair Betts (UNC-Greensboro) followed with an inning of work and Tim Kelly (Maryland-Baltimore County) pitched a scoreless 9th.
The Steamers’ southpaw, Gunner Kines (Mount Olive), pitched seven innings and only gave up an unearned run on three hits while striking out seven batters. Caleb Ross (Marshall) followed with an inning of work before McCoy closed out the game for his first save of the season.
Nelo led the Pilots with a 2-for-4 night while the Steamers were led by Ty Barkell (USC Aiken) and Olivera who also delivered 2-for-4 nights.
The Pilots will make a two game road trip to Wilmington and Morehead City before returning home on Saturday against Wilson. Saturday’s game will be Paradise Night so be sure to be ready to celebrate with us Hawaiian style! First pitch is set for 7:05pm. For more information regarding the season, please visit www.peninsulapilots.com. For up to the minute details on Pilots Baseball be sure to “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @PeninsulaPilots. Use the #PilotsNation to spread the word about the Pilots!
About the Coastal Plain League
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had nearly 1,200 alumni drafted and 68 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at coastalplain.com and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (@CPLBaseball).