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Sharky celebrates birthday with bed giveaway; Sharks edge Marlins

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Founded in 2010 by Ashley Furniture HomeStore, A Hope To Dream seeks to provide less fortunate children a mattress set that is essential to a good night's sleep. For every mattress sold, $5 will be donated to provide mattress sets to local children in need. On Friday afternoon "Sharky the Mascot" celebrated his birthday at the Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Wilmington. Before Friday's baseball game at Buck Hardee Field some of the players, Sharky, Sunrise Broadcasting and Cape Fear Limo all assisted with a bed give away for 29 underprivileged children in New Hanover County. After the birthday party Sharky escorted the children to the Shark Tank for Friday's game. Elaine Walton of Ashley Furniture HomeStore told WWAY "We're so excited. This time tomorrow 29 kids will have beds. 29 local kids will have beds from the A Hope To Dream Program and tonight they're off to the ballgame with Sharky."

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WILMINGTON, NC (SHARKS RELEASE) -- Some of the 2,100 fans at the Shark Tank bought a ticket to see the fireworks after the game. These folks didn’t realize that the fireworks show would begin long before the end of 9th inning.

The Sharks (7-7) trailed the Morehead City Marlins (1-14) by a score of 6-2 approaching the bottom of the 9th inning. The first spark of fireworks came when leadoff batter Andrew Amaro reached base on balls. Amaro, making his debut for the Sharks after the University of Maryland was eliminated from NCAA Postseason contention, stole second base to put himself in scoring position with 1 out.

The Sharks had totaled just four hits entering the 9th inning when Alex Raburn added a fifth, scoring Amaro, making the score 6-3. Raburn’s RBI single was the first of four hits in the ninth inning. Each of these hits were significant, but it was a single from Jake Kusz that will stand above the rest.
Kusz had yet to reach base in the game, going 0-4 with two pop-outs and a swinging strikeout. “I had squared up a few balls in the game, so I was seeing the ball well. The guys in front of me did a good job battling to get their first closer off the mound, and seeing them get base hits to extend the game gave me confidence”, said Kusz, “I was ahead in the count 2-0, saw one I liked, and took it backside.”

The backside single scored Steven Linkous from second, sealing the comeback by the Sharks, winning the game 7-6, effectively jumpstarting the fireworks show to celebrate the mascot Sharky’s 17th birthday.

The Sharks hit the road to Wilson tomorrow, for a double header with the Tobs, to make up for Thursday’s rain out. The Sharks return to the Shark Tank Sunday for the third game in the series against Wilson.

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PINEHURST, NC (AP) -- Martin Kaymer is the overwhelming leader at the midway point of the U.S. Open, doing it in record-setting fashion.

The German fired his second straight 5-under 65 to move six shots ahead of Brendon Todd. Kaymer's 10-under 130 total is the lowest score for the first two rounds in U.S. Open history, one shot better than the mark set by Rory McIlroy at Congressional three years ago.

Kaymer teed off early this morning and owned an eight-shot bulge when he walked off the course. His six-shot edge ties him with McIlroy and Tiger Woods for the largest lead through 36 holes.

Todd is alone in second following a bogey-free 67. Kevin Na and Brandt Snedeker are seven strokes back and one ahead of five others.

Masters champion Bubba Watson was among several notable players who are done at Pinehurst. Watson shot an even-par 70 following Thursday's disastrous 76 and missed the cut by one stroke.

Jason Dufner, Luke Donald, Charl Schwartzel and Hunter Mahan also dropped out after finishing at 6 over.

Phil Mickelson made the cut, although he's 13 shots back.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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