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WILMINGTON, NC (SHARKS RELEASE) -- Last night against the Peninsula Pilots, the SwampDogs bullpen was not able to maintain the 6-1 lead. Wednesday night at the Shark Tank, history was repeating itself. Fayetteville picked up a 1-0 lead in the fifth, but some timely hits by the Sharks and untimely walks by Fayetteville’s pitchers proved to be the difference en route to a 2-1 Wilmington victory.
Wilmington’s starter John Parke and Fayetteville’s Nick Hartman were trading goose eggs through the first four complete innings of play, but it was Parke who would falter first. Leadoff man Jason Blum would draw a leadoff walk in the fifth and promptly steal second base. After Parke got Michael Bozarth to go down on strikes and producing a Lane Paul lineout, David Palenzuela knocked an RBI single into center field to put the SwampDogs up. Parke would be replaced on the mound in the sixth inning by Ryan Manore, who was on the mound for the most important play of the game.
In the sixth, Fayetteville catcher Sam Hall drew a walk with one out, and stole second base. Two pitches later, Hall tried to steal third base, eliciting a throw from Jake Kusz. Kusz’s toss sailed into right field, over the leaping Sam Foy. Nate Moorhouse charged it as Hall bolted home and Mooorhouse threw a fastball from left field to beat the runner home. Had Hall scored, Fayetteville would have been up 2-0 in the sixth with the top of the lineup coming up to bat.
Ryan Manore is credited with the win on the night after he got some run support in the seventh. Michael Montville lead off the frame with his second single of the night, followed by another single from designated hitter Cam McRae. Nick Hartman would retire Shawn Sanders and Nathan Becker with backwards Ks. With two outs, Hartman would walk Jake Kusz to load the bases. Seth Laigast emerged from the bullpen, facing loaded bases with two outs. The game would be tied after Laigast threw four straight balls to Matt Brandy, who was making his debut for the Sharks. Sam Foy was in the leadoff position for the second time in as many games, and was able to get the game winning RBI, drawing a walk on five pitches.
With the 2-1 lead going into the ninth, Coach Parker Bangs did not even have to motion Kyler Stout into the ballgame. Stout got his eighth save of the season, striking out two SwampDogs to end the game. Wilmington improves to 15-15 on the year, and are the winners of two consecutive while Fayetteville drops to 12-16.
The Sharks will swim up the coast to Morehead City to play the Marlins on Thursday, as long as tropical storm Arthur allows.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Due to Tropical Storm Arthur the Wilmington Hammerheads will make a final decision regarding play of Thursday night's home match against Orlando City on Thursday morning. Hammerheads GM Jason Arnold told WWAY "Obviously, the storm is approaching and we're monitoring that on a regular basis. We're hopeful some of the changes overnight will effect in a positive way for our game, so we're gonna wait until 10am on Thursday to re-visit it and to make a decision about Thursday's game. The Orlando team is already in town and that's something we need to be aware of. They've already made the trip here. We don't want to send them home if we're able to get the game in, and that's our intention as long as the weather holds."