Minteer’s Eight Innings of One Run Ball Propel Tobs to Victory
Wilson, N.C.—The season series against the Morehead City Marlins ended on a high note for the Wilson Tobs as Ryan Minteer mowed his way through the Marlins lineup, surrendering just one run in eight innings of work to pace the Tobs in their 7-1 win on TL Herring night at historic Fleming Stadium.
Minteer showed signs of having dominant stuff early on, needing just ten pitches (nine strikes) to take care of the Marlins in the top of the first inning, retiring the side in order. The Tobs scored three runs in the bottom of the first to thank Minteer for the speedy inning.
Adam Pate started things with a hard hit single to right and moved up to second with his 21st stolen base of the season. Doug Teegarden took the seventh pitch of his at bat against Brett Valentine, starter for the Marlins, and ripped it into right, driving home Pate for the Tobs first run of the game. Teegarden was erased on a fielder’s choice by Seth LaRue, but he nabbed second on a stolen base and moved to third on a single by Ben Schmucker. Collins Cuthrell’s roped single to center pushed the Tobs ahead 2-0 before he and Schmucker pulled off a double steal and made it 3-0 when Chase Simmon’s throw to third sailed into left. However, Cuthrell was cut down trying to score on the play, ending the inning, but the Tobs had the 3-0 lead.
Minteer retired the first eleven batters he faced and looked like he was on his way to number 12, but Alex Torres’ slow roller to third stayed fair, allowing him to reach on the infield single. Dalton Britt and Jacob Bruce made the weak single hurt as they both singled with Bruce’s base knock driving home the Marlins’ first run of the game. Nick Lombardi stepped to the plate next for the Marlins, but Minteer regained control and ended the inning with a flyout to right.
The Tobs responded immediately in the bottom of the frame, getting the run right back. After a Schmucker groundout, Cuthrell walked and Drew Cole, just like in last night’s game against the Fayetteville SwampDogs, doubled to plate Cuthrell, who motored home all the way from first on Cole’s eleventh double of the season and 19 RBI of the summer.
With Minteer plowing through the Marlins’ lineup, the Tobs bats took advantage again in the sixth inning, this time off of reliever Jordan Knutson. The sixth started much like the fourth with Schmucker grounding out and Cuthrell walking. This time though, Cole hit a one-hopper to first, but it bounced off the heel of Alex Torres’ glove for an error, leaving guys at first and second. Matt Rembielak followed with a chopper in front of the plate, but as Chase Simmons, the catcher for the Marlins, went to field the ball, his feet slipped out from under him and his throw was well wide of first and down the right field line, allowing the two runners to score and leaving Rembielak at third with one out.
Matt Rubino wasted no time plating the Tobs’ seventh run of the game, chopping the ball high off the plate towards first and sprinting down the line for the infield RBI single. Rubino had a great game behind the plate as well, reaching on the hustle single and almost making a spectacular catch on a popped foul bunt attempt, and although he was unable to make the diving play, the Fleming faithful applauded his efforts.
After eight innings of one run baseball, Minteer finally handed the ball over to the bullpen where T.J. Viracola worked the ninth inning, surrendering a couple of hits, but stranding runners at the corners to end the game.
Minteer allowed just the one run in eight innings of work while scattering five hits, striking out three and not walking a single batter for his second victory against three losses. He has now gone at least seven innings in his last two starts and has allowed five earned runs in his last 19 1/3 innings pitched after having an ERA in the high teens just a couple of weeks back. Brett Valentine took the loss in his first decision of the summer, going five innings on six hits, four runs (three earned) with two walks and one strikeout.
The Tobs defense is also rounding into form as they put a strangle hold on the first wild card spot in the East. While Rubino was unable to make the highlight reel play on the popped foul bunt attempt, Matt Rembielak was able to convert a beauty when he flashed the leather at short in the fifth inning. On a bounding ball deep in the hole, Rembielak dove for the ball, snaring it about four feet in the air, hitting the ground hard with his chest, got up, spun, and fired a low throw to first, which was picked by Collins Cuthrell for the spectacular play. Minteer also chipped in and helped his own cause while snapping a line drive comebacker in the seventh inning.
The Tobs improve to 25-23, 10-10 in the second half and 13-11 at Fleming while the Marlins are now on the outside looking in the playoff race, falling to 19-28 overall, but more importantly 14-6 in the second half. The Tobs look to complete their first three game sweep of a homestand when they host the Fayetteville SwampDogs tomorrow night on Jana Lake State Farm $2 and Two Men & A Truck night.
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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