The fireworks started early in Martinsville on the Fourth of July. In front of a franchise record, over-capacity sellout crowd of 3,887 fans, the Mustangs homered four times in the first two innings and took down the Petersburg Generals 14-8.
“The energy tonight was unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of in a ballpark,” said Mustangs head coach Joey Seal. “It definitely had our guys pumped up and ready to go out of the gate.”
The win broke a three-game losing streak in a big way. After giving up a run in the top of the first inning, the Mustangs exploded for five in the bottom of the first and six more in the bottom of the second as Gavin Stupienski, Chris Fornaci, Charley Gould and Kyle Carruthers all put balls over the fence. The Mustangs never looked back.
“No doubt it felt good, score 14 runs and it should feel good,” said Mustangs second baseman Eric Lowe. “The last couple of games the pitchers have given up a lot of runs, but we know they’re battling and we have their back.”
Lowe, who finished 3-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, smacked a triple in the seventh inning. Despite being among the team leaders in batting average, it was his first extra-base hit.
“Trust me, I knew, the guys had been giving me crap about it for a long time,” Lowe said. “They keep talking about doubles though and they were mad at me that I didn’t pull up at second base.”
For the Mustangs, it was a great game and possibly a better show. The players fed off the crowd and took in the pyrotechnic display after the final out.
“The team really appreciated the support from the community tonight,” Seal said. “We were blown away”
The Mustangs will travel to Columbia Saturday night to meet the Blowfish. After an off-day they will return home for Dollar Monday against the Columbia Blowfish.
“Whether we win 16-4 or lose 16-4, we’re gonna come back and play the right way the next day,” Seal said. “The guys did that today and I’m proud of them.”
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