Wilson, N.C.—Neither pitcher allowed more than one earned run in tonight’s ballgame between the Wilson Tobs and the Fayetteville SwampDogs and both bullpens faltered when the starters handed the ball over, but the SwampDogs’ bullpen collapsed harder, allowing three runs in the eighth inning to give the Tobs the 4-2 victory at historic Fleming Stadium on Bridgestone Tire night.
Quinn Atwood, starter for the Wilson Tobs, came into the game having thrown two consecutive quality starts, but things started off poorly for him as he relinquished a run in the top of the first inning. Jason Blum walked on four pitches and stole second before Atwood got Michael Bozarth to strikeout and Norm Dunkin to ground out for the first two outs of the inning. Atwood appeared to get out of the inning, but Sam Hall made him pay on 3-2, ripping a fastball into right for a 1-0 SwampDogs’ lead.
It stayed 1-0 until Matt Rubino finally cracked the code that was Bennett Schiltz. Schiltz, the starter for the SwampDogs, had no trouble at all through the first two innings and got ahead of Rubino 0-2, but he left the next pitch, an offspeed pitch, thigh high over the inner half and Rubino blasted it over the wall in right for his first home run of the season, knotting the game at a run a piece.
Then the two starters really got into a groove. Atwood did not allow a run the rest of the way, going six innings of one run ball, and Schiltz dominated his first seven frames, giving up just the lone run on the solo shot by Rubino. The SwampDogs took back the lead on a solo shot from David LaFleur off of Tobs’ reliever Daniel Batts in the top of the eighth inning, making the contest a 2-1 affair.
Schiltz went back out for the bottom of the eighth and after a leadoff error by shortstop Jason Blum allowed Collins Cuthrell to reach, Schiltz got an out on a sacrifice bunt and a soft liner from Doug Teegarden to make it two outs in the inning with a man on second for Seth LaRue. LaRue stayed patient at the plate and worked a walk on a 3-1 curveball just off the outside corner to put men on first and second and the two outs with Ben Schmucker coming to the plate.
David Tufo, head coach of the SwampDogs, did not want Schiltz, a right handed pitcher, to face Schmucker, a left-handed batter who came into the game leading the East Division of the CPL with 32 RBI on the summer. So Tufo called on his bullpen for the first time on the night, turning to left-handed hurler Hunter Barnett to try and get out of the inning. However, Barnett fell behind Schmucker 1-0 and Schmucker took an inner fastball and screamed it into right center, tying the game at 2-2 and moving up to second on the throw to leave men at second and third for the Tobs with the two outs.
The Tobs came into the game with the worst defense in the CPL, but it was the ‘Dogs’ second worst defense that decided the game. Cuthrell’s run that tied the game was unearned and Barnett’s first pitch to Matthew Parrish was a high fastball, but bounced in and out of the glove of catcher Sam Hall, to the backstop for a passed ball and a Tobs’ 3-2 advantage. Parrish would walk and Drew Cole’s 10th double of the year doubled the Tobs’ lead to 4-2.
Justin Hay, head coach of the Tobs, had an easy decision to make in the ninth inning. With closer Chris Williams warmed up in the bullpen, Hay turned to the righty from NC State to finish off the game. Like he has done every time in the closer’s role this season, Williams did not allow an earned run, finishing off the SwampDogs in order while picking up a strikeout for his ninth save in as many chances.
Quinn Atwood (1-5) received a no decision in the win while going six innings of four hit baseball and allowing just the one run and striking out four against two walks, pushing his quality start streak to three games. Bennett Schiltz, despite the terrific outing, took the loss: officially going 7.2 innings pitches on three hits, three runs (one earned), walking just one and punching out seven. Daniel Batts picked up the win for the Tobs and moves to 6-0 all out of the bullpen with two inning of work and allowing the one earned run.
The Wilson Tobs jump a game above .500 now and sit at 24-23 and 9-10 in the second half. The Fayetteville SwampDogs, who are hanging onto playoff life, drop to 19-26 overall and 7-12 in the second half. The Tobs will host the Morehead City Marlins for the final game of the season between the two teams tomorrow night on Bang for your Buck Dollar Night at Fleming before finishing off the three-game homestand and season series against the SwampDogs on Jana Lake State Farm $2 Tuesday/Two Men & A Truck night.
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 of the Tobs or for any Tobs related updates 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 71 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