WILSON, NC- The Peninsula Pilots avenged a walk-off loss in the first game with an 12-4 blowout in the second game to split a doubleheader with the Wilson Tobs on Thursday night at Fleming Stadium.
The Pilots used an eight-run second inning to open the floodgates and cruise to victory. The squad used two-run singles by Garrett Brooks (East Carolina), Alex Close (Liberty), and Will Shepherd (Liberty) as well as a RBI single by Sam Tidaback (Ball State). Andres Nelo (Lee) scored a run on a wild pitch in the inning.
Taylor Ostrich (Old Dominion) gave the Pilots the lead in the first inning with a RBI single to score Brooks. The Pilots added two more runs in the third inning with Brooks scoring on an error and Close bringing in another run with a single to take a 11-1 lead.
The Tobs used a home run by Collins Cuthrell (UNC Pembroke), his second of the night, to get on the board in the second inning. Ben Schmucker added a two-run double in the third but the Pilots’ offense was too much to overcome.
Devin Hemmerich (Norfolk State) made his Pilots’ debut with three solid innings, giving up three runs (one earned) for his first win of the season. Wes McGuire (Lenoir-Rhyne) pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout and Austin Heenan (VMI) gave up a run in three innings of work, adding four strikeouts.
Braden Bristo (Louisiana Tech) took the loss, giving up seven runs in 1 1/3 innings to fall to 1-7 on the season.
Brooks led the offense with three hits while Ostrich, Close and Jason McMurray (Iowa Western CC) added two hits apiece. Close added three RBIs while Close and Shepherd added two.
Peninsula moved to 39-14, 18-7 in the second half. The win allowed the Pilots to tie the team record of most wins in a season with 39. The club reached that milestone last season with their championship campaign with 39 victories. Wilson stayed alive in the postseason hunt with the split, moving to 26-26 on the season, 11-13 in the second half.
Wilson walked off with a game-winning three-run shot by Cuthrell to win the first game of the doubleheader. Schmucker and Matt Parrish (Campbell) led off the inning with back to back singles. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, the Pilots elected to go to their bullpen. Brandon Stephens (Georgia) was called on to get the final two outs of the game but on a full count to Cuthrell, he hit one over the left field wall to give the Tobs the victory in game one of the doubleheader.
Shawn Clowers (Liberty) pitched brilliant for six strong innings, giving up two hits and striking out seven but was touched for two runs and two hits in the seventh to get saddled with the loss. He fell to 3-1 on the season. Christian Slazinik (Eastern Illinois) was credited with the win to move to 3-2 on the season. He pitched all seven innings, giving up a run on six hits and adding four strikeouts.
The only run the Pilots were able to muster in the first game happened in the third inning. Nelo led off the inning with a walk. Connor Myers (Old Dominion) hit into a fielder’s choice before swiping second. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and came around to score on Kyle Kempf’s (Southern Indiana) sacrifice fly to give the Pilots a 1-0 lead.
Shepherd and Close added two hits apiece in the first game for the Pilots.
The Pilots will head to Petersburg on Friday night for a road matchup before hosting Petersburg on Saturday night for our regular season home finale and Fan Appreciation Night! For more information regarding the season, please visit www.peninsulapilots.com. For up to the minute details on Pilots Baseball be sure to “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @PeninsulaPilots. Use the #PilotsNation to spread the word about the Pilots!
About the Coastal Plain League.
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 72 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