Tobs Two Home Runs Propel Them into East Championship Series in Wild Game
Edenton, N.C.—It took almost everything the Wilson Tobs had, but in the end they were able to finish off the Edenton Steamers and move onto the East Championship Series thanks to a 8-7 victory at Hicks Field in a game that was maybe the craziest of the summer. Matt Rubino clubbed a solo shot in the game and Collins Cuthrell walloped a grand slam over the wall in left as part of a barrage that put up eight runs as Quinn Atwood collected his first save of the season to end the Steamers season.
Game Two started eerily similar to Game One as the home team took a two run lead in the bottom of the first inning, this time giving the Steamers the two run advantage. Ryan Minteer, the starter for the Tobs tonight, struck out the first batter of the game, but walked Ryan Raslowsky for his first walk in his last 20 innings and Nick Kranick continued to kill the Tobs, doubling off the left field wall and driving home Raslowsky. Kranick came home two batters later on a single by Blake Headley.
The Tobs responded in the next half inning, cutting the deficit in half. Drew Cole doubled into left center with one out and after a popout by Matthew Parrish, Matt Rubino hit a hard grounder up the middle to bring the Tobs within one. The Tobs took the one run deficit and erased it with one swing of the bat in the next inning.
The inning started off inauspiciously enough when Adam Pate grounded out to the catcher for the first out of the inning. Zach Callahan followed with his second walk of the series and Seth LaRue singled before Ben Schmucker was hit by a pitch on the foot, loading the bases for Collins Cuthrell.
Cuthrell, who displayed some impressive power earlier in the season when he hit back-to-back home runs during a double header, jumped at the first pitch of his at bat against Manny Arcineaga, and sent a mammoth shot deep into the night and over the left field wall for the grand slam and a Tobs 5-2 lead. Matt Rubino mashed a big fly of his own over the right field wall to extend the lead to 6-2 in the fourth inning.
But just like last night, when the Steamers did not give up after falling behind by four runs, they rallied again against the Tobs pitching staff, thanks to a couple of calls that went against the boys in black and yellow.
First the Steamers got a run in fourth inning, but it could have been more. Minteer loaded the bases after a single and a couple of tough grounders were ruled errors, allowing the first three batters to reach base. However, he induced a back-breaking 4-6-3 double play ball that allowed a run to score before Callahan made another solid play at second to end the inning.
Even though the Tobs felt good only allowing the one run in the fourth inning, the fifth inning is when the Steamers climbed all the way back.
Evan Rogers walked on five pitches and Placzek popped out to first for the first out of the inning. Raslowsky was hit in the helmet with an 0-2 slider to put men at first and second with one out. Nick Kranick came to the plate and on a 3-2 count, hit a chopper out towards second, which was fielded by Callahan and flipped to Matt Rembielak covering second, but not before the runner reached second, loading the bases.
This time though the Steamers were able to come through as Orlando Olivera’s check swing infield single drove in a run and kept the bases loaded. Blake Headley’s single to right cut the Tobs lead down to just one while the bases still remained loaded with the one out. Again, Minteer delivered some close pitches, which were called balls, eventually walking home a run.
Daniel Batts came on with the bases loaded and the one out and was able to get out of the jam on a lineout double play to the first basemen LaRue.
It was the speed of Adam Pate that gave the Tobs their second lead of the game in the top of the seventh inning. Pate singled on a 1-1 count into left center field and then on the next two pitches to Callahan, proceeded to steal both second and third. Callahan did his job by taking the first two pitches for strikes, allowing Pate to nab the bags, and completed the great at bat, smacking a single off the glove of the diving third basemen Kancylarz, pushing the Tobs ahead 8-7. He was thrown out trying to advance to second base on a ball in the dirt.
The Steamers took the momentum right back, erasing the deficit in the bottom of the frame. Olivera started the inning with his third infield hit of the night and Batts walked the next two batters, again, loading the bases for the Steamers with nobody out. He was able to get Kancylarz looking on a fastball right down the middle for out number one and cut a run down at home on a comebacker for out number two. But the number nine batter for the Steamers, Evan Rogers, hit a bloop single to right to tie the game at seven a piece.
Each team threatened in the eighth inning, getting a runner to third base, but Caleb Ross, the reliever for the Steamers, and John Allen, the reliever for the Tobs, were able to strand the runners and send the game to the ninth inning tied at seven.
In the Top of the ninth inning the Tobs finally had a close call go their way and it allowed them to take the pivotal 8-7 lead. Pate again singled and was pushed over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kenny Hostrander. Jake Armstrong, who came on to pinch-run for LaRue in the seventh inning, singled to left on an 0-2 slider from Steamers closer Josh Roeder to put runners on the corners with one out. Schmucker popped out to the shortstop for the second out of the inning, which set the stage for Cuthrell.
Cuthrell went down in the count 0-1 and hit a cue shot grounder through the legs of Roeder, out towards the second base bag. Raslowsky moved towards the bag, but the ball hit off the heel of his glove and he bobbled it to the ground before picking the ball up and tagging the bag with the glove as Armstrong slid into the bag. The field umpire ruled that Armstrong slid into the bag before Raslowsky touched the base, allowing Pate to score from third with the eighth Tob run of the night and the 8-7 advantage.
The Tobs were just three outs away from their first three-game series win in franchise history, but without their season closer Chris Williams. Justin Hay, head coach of the Tobs, who called on Braden Bristo in Game One, had to find a new arm and decided on 919 Marketing Pitcher of the Week Quinn Atwood to finish off the Steamers. He picked up the first out of the inning on a great play by Kenny Hostrander who had to range 50 feet to his right to track down the ball and throw on the run to erase Chance Shephard, who also had some choice words for the umpiring crew and was ejected from the game.
Atwood had no problem with the rest of the Steamers, finishing them off in order: Atwood got Kancylarz on a popout for out number two and convinced pinch-hitter Aaron Wright to ground out to Hostrander at second for the third out of the inning and the 27th of the night, securing the Tobs’ 8-7 win and the series sweep.
It was Atwoods’ first save in his first save situation of the summer, pitching a perfect ninth. John Allen collected the win for the Tobs with his scoreless eighth inning as Josh Roeder took the loss for allowing the one unearned run in the ninth inning.
Collins Cuthrell led the offensive barrage for the Tobs, going 2-for-5 with four RBI and a home run. Matt Rubino had another great game behind the plate and at the dish, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a home run. Adam Pate was pesky again at the top of the lineup, registering a 2-for-5 night with two runs scored, including the game winner, and two stolen bases. One night after the bottom three in the lineup scored four runs, the first six batters in the lineup all scored for the Tobs.
The 8-7 win gives the Tobs the season series against the Steamers, 5-4, with the Tobs winning the final five of the last six. The win catapults the Tobs into the East Championship Series where they await the winner of the Fayetteville SwampDogs and Peninsula Pilots series, which will conclude in Hampton, VA on Friday night.
If the SwampDogs win the Tobs will play Game One of the East Championship Series on Sunday at 5:05 in Fayetteville while if the Pilots win, the Tobs will host Game One on Sunday at 5:05.
In order to purchase 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 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