Edenton protects the home field in front of a record crowd Friday night as they take down the Wilmington Sharks by a 4-1 score.
Manny Arciniega remains the only starter from the original rotation of six from the beginning of the year, but he has easily been one of the most consistent performers on this staff. Tonight was no different, as he took one of the better offenses in the Coastal Plain League to task. Arciniega went seven innings, allowed seven hits, a walk, one run and struck out six en route to his fifth win of the year.
On the other side of the bump Wilmington’s Jon Olczak pitched nearly as impressive as his opponent. Olczak started out the game striking out of the side and forcing a double play to would finish with a line of six innings, three hits, two runs, three walks and eight strikeouts. Had it not been for one bad inning, both of these hurlers have pitched scoreless outings.
Steven Linkous led the game off with a single. Then Shawn Sanders grounded a ball to Ryan Raslowsky at second, who threw over to Evan Rogers for the force out. However Rogers relay to first was high of Blake Headley’s glove, allowing Sanders to reach second. So with a man in scoring position Nate Moorhouse and Mike Montville strung together a pair of singles to bring in the first run of the game.
Wilmington would lead 1-0 but that’s all the offense they would produce on Arciniega. Edenton found a way to string together four runs in the last six frames to win the game behind Arciniega’s arm, followed by shutout innings of relief from Caleb Ross and Josh Roeder.
The Edenton offense was highlighted by Chance Shepard, who on a 2-1 pitch in the seventh inning launched a ball from Gianni Zayas over the left field wall and right into Elizabeth City to extend Edenton’s then-lead from 2-1 to 3-1. Realistically Shepard’s dinger travelled 400 feet, making it the longest home run hit at Hicks Field this season.
In that same inning Dakota Wix followed up the Shepard Mammoth with a single into left field. He would steal on the first pitch to the next batter Jake Placzek, but the throw from catcher Jake Kusz was low of second base and rolled into centerfield. Wix, now at third, just walked home after the next pitch from Zayas missed Kusz behind the plate. Just like that Edenton’s lead doubled and by that point was well out of reach for Wilmington.
Arciniega pitched one of his better games in front of the biggest crowd of the season Historic Hicks Field. 902 fans strong came out for Pepsi night in what was the best home field advantage the Steamers have had this year.
The Steamers take their second to last road trip tomorrow when they face the Petersburg Generals for the last time at the Petersburg Sports Complex.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. The CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 71 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum - Russell Wilson - won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at