Dalton Britt and Jacob Bruce sparked a Morehead City offense that put up six runs on 14 hits against Wilson on Friday, as they narrowly edged the Tobs by a 6-5 score to improve to 5-1 in the second half.
Both Britt and Bruce were 4-for-5, with Britt scoring twice and Bruce contributing three runs, an RBI and a stolen base in his stellar night. The four hits for both players were individual season highs, and also tied the Marlins’ team high, which was last done by Kyle Carroll on June 19. Bruce’s three runs also tied a season-high for him.
It was Britt and Bruce, hitting in the five and six hole, that started the rally in the seventh inning that led to the eventual winning run. With the game tied at five, Britt singled and Bruce followed with a base hit of his own. One out and an intentional walk later, catcher Manny Pazos drove in Bruce with a sacrifice fly to give the Marlins a 6-5 lead.
“They were tremendous hitting fifth and sixth for us,” said head coach Sam Carel. “The numbers speak for themselves. They made a lot happen on the plate and on the base paths.”
Pazos also had a solid night at the dish, collecting two RBI in the game and knocking one base hit in his first start since June 29 against the same Wilson Tobs.
Carroll continued his torrid pace as well, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base. In 75 plate appearances dating back nearly a full calendar month, Carroll has posted a .513 on-base percentage with a .373 average with 12 RBI and five stolen bases.
The offense provided just enough for the Marlins pitching staff, which really only scuffled in the sixth inning. In that sixth, Griffin Weir allowed the first two base runners he faced to reach before being lifted from the game. Whitman Barnes came on in relief and allowed those two runs to score plus one more to tie the game, but that was the farthest the bullpen would bend.
Barnes recorded a big strikeout of Zach Callahan to end the inning, then tossed a scoreless seventh with two more strikeouts. He punched out four total in his two innings of work. In 11 innings of relief this season, Barnes has allowed only three runs on six hits and has struck out 17.
Matt Tindall came in for the eighth did not allow a run, and then stayed on for the six-out save, posting a three-up, three-down inning to end the ballgame, retiring the four, five and six hitters in the Tobs’ order.
“His stuff was very good,” Carel said of Tindall. “It’s huge for him and big for our bullpen to come out and throw [like that] and do what they did tonight.”
In his last 6.2 innings of relief, Tindall has allowed just one run on seven hits and has struck out seven batters.
Weir lasted five innings plus two batters, and surrendered four runs on seven hits in his second start for the Marlins. He allowed lone runs in the third and fifth, and two more in the sixth when his inherited runners came around to cross the plate. He was also the recipient of some big defensive plays, including an inning-ending double play in the second, and another twin-killing to erase a leadoff single in the fourth.
“The pitch that was working for him was the fastball, and he was able to get a lot of ground ball outs with that fastball,” Carel said. “The double plays were huge for us.”
Weir’s counterpart Julio Valdez lasted just four innings for Wilson and allowed four runs on six hits and four walks. It was the sixth time in the last seven games the Marlins have knocked the opposing started from the game before he threw a pitch in the fifth inning.
With the win, the Marlins remain atop the standings in the CPL East in the second half. They will return home Thursday for a doubleheader against the Wilmington Sharks, with game one set to begin at 6:05 p.m.
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