RedWolves blow lead, lose in extras

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The Florence RedWolves were unable to hold a three-run lead against the High Point-Thomasville HiToms, and lost the game 4-3 in 11 innings on Saturday night at Sparrow Stadium.

It was a big night for the RedWolves organization, as Sonic sponsored Christmas in July, benefiting the Salvation Army.  Fans who brought an unwrapped toy received a discount ticket voucher to a future home game.  One fan also won an Ashley Furniture recliner in a promotion which had been postponed after Thursday night’s rainout.

On the field, the RedWolves jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Gene Cone (South Carolina) scored in the third after a leadoff walk when Dean Wilson (Oral Roberts) grounded into a double play.  In the fifth, Colton Konvicka (Longwood) reached on an error, and scored on Cone’s RBI single.  In the sixth, Wilson led off with a single, and scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Blake Marchant (Grand View).  After six innings, the RedWolves led 3-0.

The HiToms offense began in the seventh with a solo homer by Des Roberts (UNC Charlotte) to right field.  It was the third homer at Sparrow Stadium this season, with all three coming in games between these two teams.  The lead was cut to 3-1 in favor of Florence.

After three singles and an error in the eighth, Alec Paradowski (Wofford) and Austin Crutcher (Bellarmine) scored to tie the game at 3-3.

After both sides stranded runners in the ninth, and the HiToms went in order in the tenth, the RedWolves were unable to score with two on and nobody out in the tenth.  After Cody Brittain (USC Upstate) was hit by a pitch leading off the 11th, he scored on an RBI double by Bradley Morton (Appalachian State) to give the HiToms a 4-3 lead.  The RedWolves got two men on in the bottom half, but were unable to score when Cone flied out to end the game.

Laetten Galbraith (Louisiana Tech) improved to 2-1 on the year after two innings of relief, allowing two hits and two walks, striking out two.  Ryan Griffith (Furman) took the loss to fall to 8-3 on the year, after two innings, allowing one hit and one run with one strikeout.  The rough night for the RedWolves bullpen ruined the good outing of Zac Burke (Coastal Carolina), as he threw six innings of four hit, shutout baseball, walking five and striking out four.

The paid attendance of 792 were treated to just one of many crazy games in the CPL on a full moon Saturday night, with two other games going into extra innings, and Wilson coming from down seven to defeat Petersburg. 

The RedWolves fell to 6-3 in the second half and 25-12 overall, and remained half a game behind Columbia in the second half standings in the West division.  The HiToms improved to 4-5 and 16-21 on the year, and have defeated the RedWolves in three out of four meetings this season.

After the CPL All-Star Break, the RedWolves next game will be at home Tuesday night against the first-place Columbia Blowfish.  First pitch is at 7 p.m. on Emergency Personnel Appreciation Night.

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 70 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
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