Morehead City scored six runs in the first inning, and two more in the second as they jumped out early over Fayetteville on Saturday, and held the Swampdogs’ offense in check as they rolled to their fourth straight win, this one by an 8-1 score.
Morehead City struck early in the game, plating six runs before starter Cam Knott could retire the side in the first.
Andrew Amaro, who entered play with a .405 on-base percentage, continued to get aboard from the top of the lineup, reaching via hit by pitch to start the game. Blake Graham then singled, moving Amaro up to second base. Amaro promptly stole third and scored on the errant throw from catcher Jacob Whiting, igniting a six-run inning for Morehead City.
Matt Simmons drove in a run with a single, Kyle Carroll was walked to force in a run, Luke Tewes smashed a two RBI single, and Amaro, batting for the second time in the inning had a run-scoring base hit of his own. In all, eleven batters came to plate in the inning, marking the sixth time in the last eight games the Marlins’ have batted around in a frame.
Morehead City then added two more runs in the second on an RBI double from Jacob Bruce and an RBI single from Carroll. In the last four games, Morehead City has scored 22 combined runs in the first two innings, driving the opposing starter from the game before the end of fourth inning three times. On Saturday, Fayetteville starter Cam Knott lasted just two innings and was charged with all eight runs, six of which were earned.
“It doesn’t matter what level of baseball you play, if you can get runs early that is going to take a lot of pressure off your starting pitcher,” said head coach Sam Carel.
Carroll finished the day 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run, Johnny Caputo walked twice and scored twice, Amaro had a hit in three trips, an RBI and a run and Jacob Bruce was 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs. Bruce now has a season and team-high seven-game hit streak, during which he is 12-for-26 (.462) with a homer, six RBI, eight runs, two doubles and two stolen bases.
“He has settled into that sixth hole for us and he is a weapon,” Carel said. “Here is a guy that can really drive the ball and hit it out of the park, and when he gets on base has the ability to steal some bags. He has really solidified the middle part of our lineup.”
Marlins’ starter Kurt Lipscomb allowed multiple base runners in three of his five innings, but was able to work out of trouble, allowing just one unearned run, which scored on a fielding error by Amaro in center field. He struck out four batters and walked just one.
“He really struggled in the early part of the game but was able to come back out as the game progressed,” Carel said. “He established his changeup and was able to have a couple of easy innings to close out his night.”
Lipscomb has now pitched ten innings in his two starts this season, and has allowed just the one unearned run while striking out eight. He improves to 2-0 on the season for Morehead City.
All of the runs in the ballgame came in those first two innings, as the Swampdogs’ bullpen was steller, especially Ryan Stinar who worked as the long man for five innings and allowed just one base runner—a two out single to Luke Tewes in the fifth. He was followed by Teddy Turner, who worked a scoreless eighth and ninth.
Morehead City’s bullpen, though working with a seven-run lead all game, was also strong. Davis Kirkpatrick pitched two scoreless, Jordan Knutson worked a 1-2-3 eighth, and Matt Tindall finished out the ballgame with a scoreless ninth.
The win for Morehead City was just their second on the road this season, and it came just one day after they won their first road game of the season with a victory over Wilson. Morehead City has now won each of the first three games they have played in the second half, and they sit atop the standings in the CPL East.
The Marlins will return home after the off day Sunday to try to make it five straight wins as they face the Wilmington Sharks. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 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