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Late rally falls short for the Pilots

HAMPTON, VA- The Peninsula Pilots mounted a late comeback against the Wilson Tobs but fell short in a 5-4 loss on Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium.

Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the 8th inning, the Pilots sent nine batters to the plate to claw within one run but fell short in a 5-4 loss to the Tobs. Khalil Searcy (Jacksonville) started the inning with a single to left field. After a strikeout, Andres Nelo (Lee) drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Zak Orrison (Mount Olive) brought in Searcy with a RBI single to right field. Back to back walks brought in another run for the Pilots, cutting the deficit to 5-3 in favor of the Tobs. A fielder’s choice error plated a run to bring the Pilots within one with one out but a strikeout and a groundout ended the threat.

The Pilots threatened again in the 9th when CJ Roth (Longwood) drew a one-out walk and stole second but was stranded on second to end the game. The win gave the Tobs their fourth consecutive win after falling to the Pilots in the first game of the season. The Pilots dropped their second home game on the year.

For the first time this season, the Pilots did not score first as the Tobs tacked on two runs in the 3rd inning. Andrew LaMura (East Carolina) led off the inning with a double to left field. Justin Carroll (UNC-Wilmington) followed with a single to center, putting runners on the corners. Drew Cole (UNC-Pembroke) brought in the first run with a single through the right side. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, a RBI groundout by Doug Teegarden (Eastern Kentucky) brought in the second run of the game but a strikeout minimized the damage.

The Pilots finally got on the board in the bottom of the 6th inning by an RBI single by Garrett Brooks (East Carolina). Roth drew a one-out walk and stole second. Nelo followed with a single to center to put Pilots on the corners. Brooks came through with a two-out single to right field to cut the Tobs’ lead to 2-1.

Wilson tacked on three runs in the 7th with small ball and some help of shaky defense. A single and two sacrifice bunts that caused miscommunication set up a three run inning for the Tobs to push their lead to four with a 5-1 advantage.

The Pilots went with a staff day as seven pitchers saw action tonight. Lefty Brandon Vick (Longwood) started and threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Jordan Brooks (Norfolk State) followed with two innings and gave up two runs and was also charged with the loss, his second on the season. Cole Cromer (Newberry) and Blair Betts (UNC-Greensboro) followed with scoreless innings. Tim Kelly (Maryland-Baltimore County) pitched the 7th but was charged with no earned runs. Grayson Bailey (Lee) and Wes McGuire (Lenoir-Rhyne) followed with scoreless innings.

Tyler Watson (Kansas) won his second game for the Tobs with a 5 2/3 inning night giving up a run on three hits and striking out three. Chris Williams (NC State) was charged with three runs (two earned) in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Braden Bristo (Louisiana Tech) came in to close out the game for his first save of the season allowing no hits and striking out three.

The Tobs were led by Teegarden who was 3-for-4 on the night with 3 RBIs and Cole who added a 2-for-4 night. Brooks and Brandon Stephens (Georgia) led the Pilots with 1-for-3 nights.

The Pilots will have an off day on Sunday before hosting the Petersburg Generals on Monday night for Tie-Dye Night! 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).



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