WILMINGTON,NC (news release) -- For the second night in a row, the Wilmington Sharks won game one before dropping the second game of a doubleheader, this time to the visiting Columbia Blowfish on Saturday night.
With the split, the Sharks sit at 13-12 in the second half and are tied for second in the CPL South Division with Morehead City, who also has a 13-12 record after they won on Saturday night. The Sharks and Marlins will battle each other the final three games of the regular season, beginning Sunday night in Wilmington and wrapping up Monday and Tuesday nights in Morehead City.
In the first game, the Sharks had just two hits and two walks through the first six innings and trailed 2-0 going into the seventh and final inning.
Jake Mayers led off the seventh with a single before scoring two batters later on Daniel Aldrich’s RBI double to left-center field. Aaron Preston stepped in and delivered an RBI double on the very next pitch to score K.J. McAllister, who came on to pinch-run for Aldrich to tie it at 2-all and go to extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Justyn Carter led off the inning with a single. With Carter leading from first, Alex Freedman executed the bunt-and-run to perfection, as Carter took off on the pitch and headed towards an empty third base. After Columbia retired Freedman at first, their attempted throw to third sailed over everything down the third base line as Carter scampered home with the winning run.
Sharks starting pitcher Chris Mazza (5-3) went the distance, tossing all eight innings and striking out seven Blowfish while allowing six hits and the two runs.
In game two, the Sharks jumped ahead early in the bottom of the first when Kenny Bryant delivered a two-out single that plated Carter.
Columbia answered in the top of the second with three runs before adding three more runs in the top of the fifth to jump out to a 6-1 lead.
The Sharks cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Bryant singled with two outs before Vickash Ramjit blasted a two-run homer over the left field wall to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Columbia would stretch the lead out in the seventh when they plated the night’s final two runs with the help of two Sharks errors.
Bryant finished the second game 3-for-3 with his RBI, while Ramjit was 2-for-3 with his homer.
The Sharks host the Marlins on Sunday night in the final regular season home game for the Sharks on the final Chevy Night of the summer while it is also Fan Appreciation Night as the Sharks give away their 2011 team photo. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the game and get your photo signed by the team. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05.
Wilmington then travels to Morehead City on Monday and Tuesday nights to wrap up the 2011 CPL regular season.
It appears the Sharks will make the playoffs, but that's still an uncertainty. If the Sharks make the playoffs they'll have a playoff home game on Thursday, August 4th.