The Wilson Tobs have had to deal with rain delays and lightning delays over the last three games, but it seems like they are starting to get used to it as they were able to edge out the Morehead City Marlins 6-1 at Big Rock Stadium on Paint the Park Pink Night.
Seth LaRue came into the game 9-for-15 on the week with two doubles and five runs driven in and immediately made an impact in the game, blasting a two-run home run over the left field wall and giving the Tobs a 2-0 lead. The Tobs would actually collect four hits in a row in the inning with Taylor Nichols and Ben Schmucker following with singles of their own, but the Tobs would strand the runners at second and third to end the inning.
John Valek started for the Tobs and had a relatively easy first inning before running into some trouble in the second. Valek struck out the first batter in the inning and then allowed a single to Luke Tewes before getting a flyout to deep center from Kyle Carroll. It appeared that Valek was out of the inning as he fired a 2-2 fastball over the inside corner against Andrew Amaro, but home plate umpire James Folkse delivered the bad news and Valek eventually walked Amaro. Eduardo Castro took the first pitch he saw and blooped it into center field, cutting the lead in half at 2-1 in favor of the Tobs before Valek got out of the inning with a grounder from Jacob Bruce.
However, Valek would settle down in the rest of his outing, allowing just two base runners the rest of the way, both on walks; he would retire the final eight batters he faced. Valek went six innings, allowing just three hits and one run (earned), while striking out four and walking three.
The Tobs would bust the game open in the seventh inning by scoring four runs, doing all of the damage with two outs. Justin Carroll walked with one out and was sacrificed over by Frankie Navarrete. Doug Teegarden, who scored on the two run home run by LaRue in the first, doubled down the left-field line to drive in a run and LaRue walked to put guys on first and second with two outs and a 3-1 Tobs’ lead. Taylor Nichols took the first pitch of his at bat and sliced it into the right center-field gap, driving in both Teegarden and LaRue for a 5-1 Tobs’ advantage. Ben Schmucker’s misplayed ground ball by second basemen Nick Lombardi made it a 6-1 game.
Braden Bristo took the ball from Valek in the bottom of the seventh and despite walking three guys in the inning, was able to get out of the bases loaded jam. The game was played in the rain the entire night and finally the elements became too much and the game was called after seven; the first time this year the Tobs have played a rain-shortened game. They improve to 12-10 on the season and 4-0 against the Marlins.
Seth LaRue ended the week going 10-for-18 (.556) with seven RBI, a home run, two doubles, four runs scored and a stolen base in one attempt.
The Tobs will have Sunday off before returning back home on Monday against the Fayetteville SwampDogs for Arts in the Park Night presented by the Wilson Arts Council and Bang For Your Buck Night where fans can get hot dogs, snocones, popcorn and select draft beer, all for a dollar. If you haven’t purchased tickets for the game, please call the Tobs office at (252) 291-8627 or visit wilsontobs.com. Be sure to follow us @wilsontobs and like us on facebook www.facebook.com/wilsontobs.
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 68 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