The Edenton Steamers have notched their season-high eighth win in a row with a 3-2 victory over the Peninsula Pilots at Historic Hicks Field.
The Pilots had proved to be a pest to the Steamers so far this season, handing them two of their four losses on the year. But Edenton tied up the season series behind the arms of their bullpen, specifically Cody Thompson and Josh Roeder.
Thompson came on in relief of Steamer starter Josh Pierce in the fifth inning and shut down the number two scoring offense in the Coastal Plain League. The San Diego State righty pitched four shutout innings, allowing only two hits, a walk and striking out five Pilots.
He was only matched by the efforts of Peninsula’s Grayson Bailey, who pitched four shutout innings of his own in relief of Pilot starter Taylor Edens. However by the time Bailey and Thompson had gotten in the game, the final score was already set.
The climax of the game was undoubtedly in the fourth inning. In a 1-1 ball game, Peninsula’s Taylor Ostrich hit a hard ball to third base that couldn’t be handled by Jake Placzek to reach first on the leadoff. A walk plus a single followed to load the bases with no outs and then Jason McMurray popped a ball deep enough into centerfield to bring Ostrich in from third to give the Pilots the 2-1 lead.
The home half of the fourth proved to be the crazier part of the frame. With one out Edenton’s Stefan Kancylarz hit a weak hopper over to first base. Ostrich came off the bag to field the ball and his throw over to first was in time to the pitcher Edens covering the bag. However the call was that Edens just let his foot up as Kancylarz reached first. It would be an error charged to the pitcher Edens.
In the very next at-bat Steamer catcher Michael Perez smacked a ball into deep right center field and had Kancylarz screeching around the base paths from first heading home. Peninsula’s right fielder Kyle Johnson threw a frozen rope back to home plate that was on time to catcher Alex Close. Close reached behind his head to tag Kancylarz, but the St. Joes third baseman dodged the tag and slid his outstretched hand across home plate to score. Grant Tyndall then grounded out to short to bring Perez over to third, Placzek came back to single hard down the third base line to bring in Perez, cementing the final score of 3-2.
Kancylarz’s close call at the plate wouldn’t be the only bang-bang play at home plate. In the top of the third inning with Ryan Raslowsky and Nick Kranick on second and first, Orlando Olivera hit a two out single that would see Raslowsky try and take home. Once again it was Johnson to Close, but throw wasn’t as on-line and Raslowsky was able to hop out of the way to score Edenton’s first run of the game.
Edenton (17-4) and Peninsula (14-6) will both get the night off, as they’ll send a combined seven players and both head coaches to Cary, N.C. today to join the CPL select team that will play the USA collegiate team at the U.S. baseball training facility.
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 68 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