WILMINGTON, NC (HAMMERHEADS). -- Wilmington Hammerheads FC extends their unbeaten streak following Saturday's 2-2 draw against the Chicago Fire Reserves at Legion Stadium.
Wilmington put forth pressure on Chicago at the beginning of the match as forward Jordan Hamilton had the first shot of the night with a ground ball across the front of the goal. The Hammerheads followed with a few more attempts, but it was Chicago's Dilly Duka that put the first point on the board in the 27th minute.
Hammerheads forward Sammy Ochoa was offered an opportunity on goal with a penalty kick after teammate Mickael Oliveira was taken down in the box, but was denied by a diving save by goalkeeper Kyle Reynish leaving the Hammerheads scoreless at the half.
Forward Jordan Hamilton scored the Hammerheads first goal of the night and his fourth goal of the season in the 50th minute off a cross by Ochoa, matching Ochoa for team leader in goals. Soon after, the Hammerheads dropped again to a deficit of one as Chicago's Juan Luis Anangono put the ball into the back of the net in the 58th minute.
It was Hammerheads midfielder Will Heaney that equalized the score in stoppage time with a hard shot into the back of the net and increasing Wilmington's unbeaten streak to eight consecutive matches during the current regular season.
The Wilmington Hammerheads are scheduled to play their next match at Legion Stadium on Saturday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET for the second match of their three-game series against the Richmond Kickers this regular season. The Hammerheads will host the Kickers again on Friday, August 1 for their final match of the series.
PETERSBURG, VA (SHARKS) -- The Wilmington Sharks were paced by Cam McRae’s impressive 3-4 outing Saturday night in Petersburg, resulting in a 3-1 victory over the Generals. On the night, McRae had two singles and a double, coupled with a pair of stolen bases. Petersburg walked eight Sharks batters and committed two errors in the field to assist Wilmington’s offensive efforts. The 3-1 score could have much more lopsided, considering the nine Sharks runners stranded afloat.
Wilmington picked up the first run of the game in the top of the first, following a leadoff walk from Steven Linkous. Linkous stole second base on a 1-2 count to Alex Raburn. Raburn singled, advancing Linkous to third, who was given a free pass home on a Petersburg balk. McRae would single to centerfield, but the inning would end after Raburn was tagged out at the plate after sliding in head-first, and was slow to get up. Joe DeVito would replace the injured Raburn for the remainder of the contest.
Sharks would regain the lead in the fourth, kick started by a leadoff walk by Mike Montville. A Sam Foy double to the alley in left center field would put two in scoring position for Nathan Becker. Becker’s groundout would be enough to score Montville, putting the Sharks on top 2-1. An insurance run came in the eighth by way of a McRae double, stolen base, and three free passes on balls.
Left-handed Sharks starter Beau Dees proved why he’s at the top of Wilmington starting staff. Dees pitched five complete innings, allowing Petersburg’s lone run on three hits, striking out one in the game, improving his record to 4-1 on the season. Hunter Smith emerged from the bullpen for two innings of work to face and retire six batters. Shepley and Stout finished things out in the eighth and ninth, each picking up a pair of strikeouts. The Smith-Shepley-Stout connection from the bullpen would retire eleven consecutive Generals batters. Stout’s save was his fifth on the season, putting him atop the Coastal Plain League.
Wilmington will enjoy a day off Sunday, and travel up the coast to the Outer Banks to face the Morehead City Marlins on Monday evening before returning to the Shark Tank for a rematch with Petersburg on Wednesday.