With Independence Day Fireworks at Historic Capital City Stadium following the contest between the Florence RedWolves and Columbia Blowfish last night, the Columbia Blowfish got the show started a little early for the 4,500 fans in attendance.
After two early runs by the Florence RedWolves in the top of the 2nd inning, the Blowfish stormed back to the lead in the bottom half of the inning.
Charleston Southern’s Chase Shelton hit a one out solo round tripper to cut the lead in half, and Clemson’s Reed Rohlman followed it up with a single. Central Florida’s Erik Barber came to the dish as the next man up, and blasted a high fastball deep into the Columbia twilight as Columbia seized the lead back 3-2.
Shelton’s coming out party continued, as he drove in a run on an infield single in the 3rd and connected on a second home run to deep right centerfield, scoring Allen Staton (North Greenville), which capped a 3 for 5 night that saw him lift two out of the yard and drive home 4 runs on the night.
“Chase was one of the top hitters in the CPL last season and is one of the top [hitters] on our team,” said Blowfish head coach Jonathan Johnson. “He’s maybe 70 or 80 points off where he was last year, so I don’t think it’s any surprise to see him come on strong like this.”
JD Crowe (Francis Marion) continued his torrid pace he has set this season. Crowe got in on the fireworks on the field as well, muscling up his first home run of the season and finishing the night 3 for 5 with one driven in and 3 runs scored.
Barber did a little bit of everything on the night for the Columbia Blowfish. Barber drove in two with a two run blast over the left centerfield wall, was hit by a pitch, stole second base, and scored 2 runs on the night for the Blowfish.
Trevor Hutto (USC Aiken) went 6 strong innings in the win, giving up 3 runs and 8 hits while striking out 4 on 95 pitches.
Cody Dix tossed 3 scoreless inning of relief in his best outing of the year, striking out 1 and allowing 1 hit.
Columbia is 12-19 overall but has earned themselves a 3-0 start to this second half of the season with wins over Gastonia and Florence, putting them in first place in the CPL West thanks to that stretch.
The Columbia Blowfish next game come son July 5th, as the Martinsville Mustangs come to town on what is the final Independence Weekend Fireworks show at The Cap. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM.
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 69 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