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Pilots cruise to third straight win

WILSON, NC- The Peninsula Pilots won their third straight game with a 14-4 blowout of the Wilson Tobs on Monday night at Fleming Stadium.

Coming into the game, the Pilots were batting a collective .183 team batting average, which was second-worst in the CPL but that did not stop the Pilots. A collective team effort, where the lineup pounded out 16 hits and everyone reached based at least once, allowed the Pilots (7-4) to cruise to a 14-4 blowout of the Wilson Tobs (6-6) for their third straight win.

The Pilots jumped ahead with a five spot in the second inning. Will Shepherd (Liberty) and Sam Tidaback (Ball State) both hit one-out singles. Connor Myers (Old Dominion) followed a walk to load the bases. Andres Nelo (Lee) put the Pilots on the board with a two-run single through the right side. Garrett Brooks (East Carolina) followed with walk to load the bases once again. Zach Lopes (Delaware) hit a sacrifice fly to put the visitors up three. PJ Higgins (Old Dominion) then added to the inning with a two-run single to center to put the Pilots ahead 5-0.

The Tobs wasted no time in retaliating with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. After the right-hander, Cole Cromer (Newberry) retired the first two batters of the inning, the Tobs mounted a mini two-out rally. Back to back singles and an error put a run on the board and then Matt Rubino (North Carolina) plated another run with an RBI single to cut the Pilots’ lead to three.

The Pilots extended their lead back to five in the third inning with RBI singles by Tidaback, who was 3-for-5 on the night, and Nelo, who was 2-for-4 on the night with 3 RBIs.

After trading zeroes, the Tobs tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly by Ben Schmucker (UNC Pembroke) and an infield single by Taylor Nichols (Louisiana Tech) scored another run for the Tobs, cutting the Pilots’ lead to 7-4.

The visitors added to their lead with runs in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively. Lopes singled up the middle to score Nelo in the sixth. Myers doubled to score Shepherd, who was 2-for-4 with three runs in his Pilots’ debut. Tidaback scored the tenth run on a Tobs’ miscue to put the Pilots ahead 10-4.

The Pilots added four more runs in the ninth with a two-run triple by Brooks and an RBI groundout by Lopes as well as a sacrifice fly by Kyle Johnson (Purdue) to put the game well out of reach.

Higgins added a 4-for-5 night with two RBIs and Johnson added a multi-hit game with a 2-for-5 effort.

Cromer finished the night with six sold innings, giving up four runs (three earned) and scattering seven hits, earning his second win of the season. Blair Betts (UNC Greensboro) pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Jordan Brooks (Norfolk State) and Taylor Edens (VMI) both tossed scoreless innings in relief with two strikeouts each to finish off the victory.

Ryan Minteer was charged with the loss, giving up five runs in two innings, following to 0-3 on the young season. The Tobs had multi-hit games by Adam Pate (North Carolina) and Justin Carroll (UNC-Wilmington) but ultimately 16 hits by the Pilots and five miscues was too much to overcome.

The Pilots will continue their two-game road swing with a matchup with their longtime rivals, Edenton on Tuesday night. The Pilots will have an off day on Wednesday before hosting the Fayetteville SwampDogs on Thursday night for Thirsty Thursday and Bark N’ the Park Night! 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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