The Fayetteville SwampDogs lost a tough matchup to the Forest City Owls 6-3 on Friday night at McNair Field.
The SwampDogs got on the board first against the Owls, jumping on Orlando Razo in the second inning for two runs.
Norm Donkin (Delaware) reached to lead off the inning on a leadoff single, then with Sam Hall (Dixie State) at the plate, he would take off and steal second base. Hall would fly out to centerfield for the first out. Then with Kam Stewart (Frostburg State) at the plate Donkin would steal third. Stewart would single into left field later in the at bat to score Donkin.
The next batter, Chase Edwards (Mount Olive) would single into right field, allowing Stewart to advance to third base. Jacob Whiting (Montevallo) was up next and laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that was mishandled by Razo, and Stewart came in to score.
Jordy Farthing (Mount Olive) would surrender a run to the Owls in the bottom of the third, when he allowed a leadoff base hit to Stephen Polares, who advanced all the way to third base on a wacky groundout by Danny Sheehan, then came in to score on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 2-1.
The SwampDogs would get the run back in the top of the fourth, however, when Hall would reach on a dropped third strike. Hall was advanced to second when Stewart reached via a bunt single. Edwards flew out to right next which advanced Hall to third. Hall would score on a fielder’s choice it into by Whiting to make it 3-1 Dogs.
The Owls would be the next team to strike as they plated a run against Farthing in the sixth inning, and would take the lead in the bottom of the seventh.
Zach Cerbo and Bradley Jones reached on a pair of errors to start that frame, then Farthing struck out Polares for the first out. Sheehan was up next and delivered a single past a drawn-in infield to bring home Cerbo and Jones, whom had advanced on wild pitches. After a walk to the dangerous Hunter Bryant, Farthing struck out Connor Clancy, then allowed a hit to Devin Wenzel to drive home Sheehan and move Bryant to third.
Hasten Freeman (Arkansas – Fort Smith) came in to replace Farthing, and induced a groundout from Derek Hannas to end the inning.
Farthing’s final line for the night was 6.2 innings pitched, allowing 5 runs allowed (2 earned) on nine hits, walking three and striking out 10. It was the third time this year that Farthing struck out double digits.
In the eighth inning, the SwampDogs would mount a two-out rally against Eric Birklund, getting a walk from Lane Paul (Murray State College) and a hit from Donkin, before Birklund was removed in favor of the southpaw Mitch Warner, who would strike out the lefty-hitting Hall.
The Owls would plate an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, as Cerbo would single with one out, then after being advanced to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch, he would come home on another wild pitch thrown by Freeman.
In the ninth inning, Brock Goodling came in to try and nail down the save for the Owls. Stewart led off the inning for the Dogs by drawing a walk, then Edwards would strike out, but Stewart would steal second base. Whiting would ground out to second base to advance Stewart to third, but there were two outs in the inning, and David LaFleur (LSU Eunice) was up as the last hope for the SwampDogs. LaFleur would ground out to shortstop to end the game.
Farthing (2-5) got the incredibly tough-luck loss for the SwampDogs and Birklund (3-4) got the win for the Owls. The SwampDogs will hit the road again Saturday night to take on the rival Wilmington Sharks at 7:05 pm.
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