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ROCKY MOUNT NC (WWAY) -- The Wilmington Tigers won their season opener on Saturday night. The Tigers defeated Rocky Mount 18-2 in the head coaching debut for Jay Ross.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (USL PRO) -- Continuing its impressive 2014 USL PRO unbeaten run, Orlando City SC (14-0-3, 45 points) defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads 2-0 at ESPN Wide World of Sports on Saturday night. Dennis Chin and Anthony Pulis both scored for Orlando as the Lions extend their unbeaten run to 17 consecutive matches.
“I’m obviously delighted to get the win and keep the run going, which is important,” said Lions coach Adrian Heath. “I thought that there were some excellent performances on our end. We dictated things throughout the entire game and probably had the ball for most of the evening.”
Due to the wet conditions, both sides had a slow start in the opening minutes as they tried to feel each other out. The first sign of action came in the seventh minute when Kevin Molino drove a low effort that skipped just wide of the target.
Four minutes later, Tommy Redding nearly scored his first goal of the 2014 campaign from a deep corner served into the box from Darwin Ceren. The El Salvadorian’s corner floated to the back-post and Molino knocked it back into the danger area for Redding, whose effort was cleared off the line.
The majority of the first half featured keep-away soccer as Orlando was in full control of possession, forcing Wilmington to chase all over the pitch. When Wilmington did manage to gain possession, the Lions’ midfield and defense closed them down quickly.
As the half progressed, Orlando’s possession finally created an end-product when Chin found the back of the net in the 33rd minute. The goal was the result of good build-up play on the edge of the penalty area with quick one-touch passing that saw Molino find Chin in the box with ample space. Heading into tonight’s match, the Oviedo native hadn’t scored since bagging a brace against Oklahoma City on May 4, but tonight he displayed clinical proficiency with a calm finish past Wilmington goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.
To open up the second half, Orlando found the back of the net once again after Molino was clumsily fouled by Sammy Ochoa inside the penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick being awarded in Orlando’s favor in the 49th minute. Veteran midfielder Anthony Pulis converted the penalty, sending Roberts the wrong way as he placed his effort in the bottom-right hand corner.
Molino nearly added a third in the 60th minute and the 89th minute, but a big save from Roberts and a foul called by the referee kept the club’s first MLS signing off the scoresheet as he aims to jump back into first place on the USL PRO scoring table.
New signing Giuseppe Gentile made his first appearance in purple and white when he was brought on by Head Coach Adrian Heath in the 75th minute. The former Chicago Fire striker nearly scored in the 87th minute with a clever flick, but Roberts once again managed a big save to prevent further damage.
City will now begin preparing for its upcoming road fixture against Sacramento. The California-based club will prove to be a strong test for Orlando as the Lions look to extend their unbeaten run and a 10-point lead over the Richmond Kickers.
WILMINGTON, NC (SHARKS RELEASE) -- Wilmington, NC – A five run seventh inning was the nail in the coffin on Saturday night at the Shark Tank, giving the Morehead City Marlins the 8-2 victory, and their first win in Wilmington in four tries. Morehead City continues to roll in the second half, improving to an impressive 8-2 since June 30th, and an not-so-impressive 13-24 overall.
The Marlins would jump out to an early lead in the first inning, after starting pitcher Matthew Vogel would issue a walk to leadoff batter Andrew Amaro. He would move up on a Blake Graham single, and a sacrifice bunt. Marlins All-Star firstbaseman Johnny Caputo put one into the outfield to easily score Amaro.
Wilmington would seek retribution in the bottom of the third following a leadoff Jake Kusz single. A well placed bunt by Joe DeVito would allow Kusz to move up ninety feet into scoring position. Shawn Sanders collected his eleventh RBI of the season, knocking Kusz in from second with a single.
Morehead City would hang two more runs on Vogel in the fifth on three hits, but a double play would end the threat. Vogel would be removed from the game after allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts in six complete innings, while throwing 97 pitches.
Wilmington would close the gap in the fifth, prompted by a Shawn Sanders walk with two outs. He would swipe second base, and be knocked by Sharks RBI leader Nate Moorhouse, raising the total to 24 on the season.
The game would get out of Wilmington’s reach in the seventh. Patrick Toohers came in to relieve Vogel, and sat down the first two Marlins he faced. After that, Morehead City would plate five runs on four hits, accompanied by two Sharks errors and a handful of wild pitches and passed balls.
Michael Montville was the only Shark to notch a multi-hit game Saturday with two singles – six other Sharks would have hits.
Steven Linkous, Nate Moorhouse, Jon Olczak, and Kyler Stout will travel to Morehead City for the 2014 CPL All-Star at Big Rock Stadium this weekend before the Sharks will seek retribution at the Shark Tank on July 15th against the Marlins.