Wilson, N.C.—The Morehead City Marlins had the worst first half record in the CPL, but came into historic Fleming Stadium with the best second half record in the East Division and showed the Tobs that they mean business in the second half, clipping the Tobs 6-5 on Home Run for Hunger Game night presented by Vick Family Farms, Lee Motor Group, First Baptist Church, the Wilson Lions Club and Wilson Community College.
Julio Valdez took the ball for the Tobs tonight and immediately had to work out of trouble in the top of the first. He allowed a lead off single to Andrew Amaro and after Amaro was bunted over, he allowed Amaro to steal third, leaving a runner at third base with one out. However, Valdez beared down and got out of the inning by striking out Nick Lombardi and Johnny Caputo.
In an unfortunate theme to the night, the Tobs threatened in the bottom of the first inning, but stranded a couple of runners in scoring position against Marlins’ starter Griffin Weird (they would strand nine on the night in total).
The Marlins would make the Tobs pay in the next inning as Jacob Bruce singled with one out and made his way to third after an errant pickoff throw by Valdez. Manny Pazos needed just one pitch to make the throwing error hurt, singling into right field on the first pitch of the at bat and giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead. They would make it 4-0 in the next inning on some clutch two-out hitting.
Lombardi walked with one out and moved to second on a single by Dalton Britt into left field. Left fielder for the Tobs’, Adam Pate, attempted to throw behind Lombardi at second, but the throw was low and skipped past Zach Callahan at second and all the way into foul territory in right field. The throw allowed a run to score and left Britt at third with two outs. Jacob Bruce followed with a single to drive home a run and after moving to second on a wild pitch, scored on a single by Kyle Carroll to push the Marlins’ lead to 4-0.
The Tobs though started to claw back into the game in the bottom of the frame with a gift of a run. Doug Teegarden led off the inning and hit a weak grounder to second, but Lombardi booted the ball and the Tobs had a lead off man on the bases for the first time in the night. Teegarden made it to second on a throwing error by Marlins’ catcher Manny Pazos when Pazos’ throw back to the pitcher was wide and rolled into center field. Callahan followed with a grounder to third to Britt, but his throw was down the first base line, pulling Johnny Caputo off the bag who tagged out Callahan, but could not make a return throw to try and get Teegarden who took third on the throw. He then scored on a wild pitch to give the Tobs their first run of the game and making the score 4-1.
Valdez was only able to go four innings on the night, allowing four runs, three earned, and handed the ball over to Michael Wilson who was greeted by back-to-back-to-back singles in the top of the fifth by Britt, Bruce and Carroll with Carroll’s single culminating in the fifth run of the night for the Marlins.
The Fleming Stadium crowd did not have to wait long for the Tobs to get the run back. After the first two Tobs were retired in the bottom fo the frame, Callahan singled up the middle and moved to second on a wild pitch by Weir. Cole singled to the opposite field and Andrew Amaro’s throw was off line, allowing Callahan to dive in safely, but Pazos immediately threw to second and was able to get Cole trying to take the extra bag to end the inning with the score 5-2.
The Tobs made it a brand new ball game by scoring three in the bottom of the sixth. Sam Carel, head coach of the Marlins, decided to stick with Weird and the decision would cost him. Seth LaRue smashed a double into the right center field game to start the inning and moved to third on a single by Ben Schmucker. Carel then went to Whitman Barnes out of the bullpen and the left immediately walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. Rubino popped out in foul territory, but Matt Rebielak, who made two highlight reel diving stops earlier in the game to save a run, provide a run for the Tobs with an infield single to short.
The Marlins’ shortstop Kyle Carroll charged the slowly hit ball by Rembielak and was forced to barehand it. He was able to handle the ball properly, but his throw to first was low and got by Caputo, allowing Schmucker to score ahead of a close throw and cutting the Tobs’ deficit to 5-4. Justin Carroll, who came in to replace Adam Pate earlier in the game, struck out, but Teegarden singled to tie the game at fives.
The lead did not last long as the Tobs sent out Braden Bristo and he ended up giving up a run in the seventh inning. Britt started the inning with a dying quail out to left center, just out and beyond the reach of Rembielak. Bruce dropped a bunt down the first base line and Rubino tried to make the throw on the run, but his momentum forced the throw over the head of LaRue at first and putting guys on first and second with nobody out. The Tobs got an out on a fielder’s choice ground out, but a double steal by Bruce and Carroll forced the Tobs to issue an intentional pass to Taylor Campbell to load the bases. That allowed Manny Pazos’ fly ball to center (on an 0-2 count) to drive home a run and a Marlins 6-5 advantage.
Tonight’s Home Run for Hunger Game was the 17th game of the season at Fleming Stadium and the Tobs had yet to come through with a walk-off win and tried their hardest to comeback in this one. They had a runner in scoring position in the seventh inning, but ended up stranding him and in the eighth inning, Rembielak and Carroll collected back-to-back singles with one out to put guys on first and second. Teegarden bunted them over, but Callahan’s flyball to right fell into the glove of Bruce to end the threat.
John Allen pitched the top of the ninth for the Tobs and conducted the first 1-2-3 inning for either squad and it looked like the Tobs had enough momentum to pull of the dramatic victory, but Matt Tindall shut the door on that notion, retiring the Tobs in order in the bottom of the ninth for a six out save and a 6-5 Marlins’ victory.
It was the third win in a row for the Marlins against the Tobs with the Marlins improving to 10-23 overall and 5-1 in the second half. The Tobs lead the season series 5-4 with the two teams playing three more times, the next time this Friday in Morehead City. Matt Rembielak picked up three hits for the Tobs out of the eight hole, including one RBI in addition to making several tremendous plays in the field.
Michael Wilson went two innings allowing one run for the Tobs as both Mikel Belcher and John Allen pitches scoreless innings of relief for the boys in yellow and black. Braden Bristo took the loss (1-4) for his one inning of work while Whitman Barnes’ first decision of the season is a win (1-0) and Matt Tindall picked up his first save by recording six outs.
Tomorrow night, Thursday, is the return of The Tobs’ Thirsty Thursday promotion where fans can get specials on select draft beers presented by Wilson Ortho/Triangle Ortho and Goodness Grows NC.
If you haven’t purchased tickets for the game, please call the Tobs office at (252) 291-8627 or visit wilsontobs.com. If you want to see more pictures from today’s Picnic in the Park event 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 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