CHARLESTON,SC (Charleston Battery news release) — The Charleston Battery defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads by a score of three goals to one on Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 4,782. Midfielder Navion Boyd recorded an early goal, followed by finishes from Dane Kelly and Nicki Paterson in the second half to lead the Battery to its eleventh win of the season.
“Anytime you have a setback with a couple losses like we did there is pressure on the team to perform,” said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser “but the guys responded well early in the first half and scored two more great goals to put the game away giving us a deserved three points.”
The win moves the Battery (11-6-0) into second place in the USL PRO standings and sets up a blockbuster game on Thursday night at Blackbaud Stadium as the league-leading Orlando City Lions come to Charleston to take on the Battery.
Charleston opened up scoring early in the match when Navion Boyd found himself in the box on the far side. Boyd dribbled with speed pushing the ball past two Wilmington defenders and fired a hard shot home out of reach of Wilmington goalkeeper Alex Horwath.
The Battery had several more threatening chances in the half including one before the whistle on top of the box when midfielder Ryan Richter smashed the ball just wide of the target.
The Hammerheads responded in the 47th minute with a volley goal scored by Audry Budnyy. The Wilmington forward capitalized on a loose ball after two failed clearances in the box to finish the chance and pull even 1-1. (NOTE: Click play video to see the amazing goal)
In the 60th minute the Battery rallied with a connection from Ryan Richter to substitute forward Dane Kelly. Just of the edge of the 18-yard-box Ryan Richter played a perfectly bent ball in behind Wilmington defenders and found Kelly’s head for him to tuck the ball home with a sharp headed finish.
Five minutes later, Charleston midfielder Nicki Paterson fired a long range shot from 35 yards out past Wilmington goalkeeper in the upper left corner of the net to put the Battery ahead 3-1 and take the game beyond Wilmington’s reach.
The Battery’s next match is Thursday, July 19th when they take on the first place Orlando City Lions at Blackbaud Stadium; kick off is set for 7:30 PM. Wilmington will host Dayton at 7:30 PM on Friday, July 20th.
Scoring Summary Goal (Assist) Minute
Charleston Battery Boyd 6
Wilmington Hammerheads Budnyy 48
Charleston Battery Kelly (Richter) 60
Charleston Battery Paterson 65
WILMINGTON,NC (Sharks news release) — After the first two hits by Wilmington Sharks (6-3, 22-14) batters both left the park on Saturday night, the home team could have called it a night. Instead, they stuck around to knock another one to add to what would end as a 5-2 victory over the Forest City Owls (4-8, 24-15).
All five Sharks runs came via the long ball, as the team clubbed three total dingers for their most in a game this season. It was also the most allowed in a single tilt by Owls pitching.
Lloyd Enzor sent the first pitch he saw in the first inning into the netting above the left field wall to start the scoring, then after Connor Mitchell and Alex Freedman took walks in the second it was Zach Stephens who lost the sphere beyond the fence. That was the first of two extra base hits for Stephens, who also knocked a double in the fourth frame.
With a single run scored by Forest City in the top of the fourth, Andrew Valencia joined in the action with a solo shot in the bottom half to push the lead out to 5-1.
Starter Ross Whitley turned in his third quality start of the year, lasting six innings while surrendering just one run on three hits and two walks. He struck out six in the win.
Forest City plated one more in the seventh, but was unable to find any offense beyond a single hit in the eighth after that run. Andrew Brockett struck out the side in the ninth for his seventh save of the summer.
The Sharks continue a four game home stand on Sunday night against the Morehead City Marlins. For more on the Sharks, visit wilmingtonsharks.com, add Sharky Sharks on Facebook and follow @ILMSharks on Twitter.