Sharks split double dip against Marlins - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Sharks split double dip against Marlins

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Wilmington Sharks Press Release

Wilmington, NC – Morehead City Marlins and the Wilmington Sharks each picked up a win Thursday night in the twin bill. Morehead City picked up a 3-1 victory in Game 1, while Wilmington would rebound during Game 2, winning 2-1.

The Marlins rolled into the Shark Tank the hottest team in the Coastal Plain league, entering Thursday's double-header with a 8-2 record in the second half of play. Not only have the Marlins been winning games recently, they've been doing so by outscoring their opponents 72-39, so holding a team that has been averaging nine runs per nine inning game to four runs in fourteen innings has even more significance.

In Game 1, the Sharks followed a 1-2-3 first inning by Joe O'Donnell with a run in the bottom half of the frame. Nate Moorhouse belted a two out double to left center, one hopping the wall for his sixth double of the year. Moorhouse would become Michael Montville's twentieth runner batted in after Montville smacked a single.

O'Donnell ran into trouble in the top of the second when Johnny Caputo singled to lead it off – Caputo's single would become the first of four consecutive innings in which Morehead City would notch singles to lead off an inning. A hard hit ball by Dalton Britt would score Caputo from second, who moved up on a passed ball. Morehead City would add two more runs in the fourth inning on three Marlin singles and a sacrifice fly by Kyle Carroll.

The Sharks starter, O'Donnell, would pitch six complete innings in Game 1, allowing three earned runs on eight hits, two walks, while striking out one. O'Donnell would be replaced by Hunter Smith in the seventh, who would retire three batters on nine pitches.

Similar to Game 1, it was the Sharks who would draw blood first during Game 2. Steven Linkous singled in the bottom of the first inning and would steal his 26th base on the year on 27 tries, solidifying his position atop the CPL. Linkous would be tagged out after being caught in a pickle. Shawn Sanders, who reached on a fielder's choice, would steal a bag of his own and move up to third on a Nate Moorhouse single. Michael Montville would put the Sharks on the board with an RBI single, scoring Sanders.

Shawn Sanders would score again in the third to put the Sharks up for good. He hustled down the line to beat out a potential double play which erased Linkous on the front end. Sanders would pilfer second base, bringing his total to ten on the year. Nate Moorhouse would drive Sanders in from second base.

Sharks All-Star Jon Olczak, Wilmington's Game 2 starter, would go four innings Thursday, allowing 1 run on just two hits. In these four innings, Olczak would strikeout four, bringing his total to an even 50 on the year, putting atop the leaderboards for all eligible pitchers in the CPL. Olczak would be followed out of the bullpen by Will Shepley, who would strikeout three in two innings, allowing one hit. Kyler Stout was brought in to do his duty in the seventh inning, the final inning of the double header. Stout would issue a strikeout of each variety before a Marlin would reach on an error. The dream was still alive for the Marlins.

Eduardo Castro, with a slugging percentage of .561, would pinch hit and represent the tying run in the seventh. Ahead in the count 2-1, Castro unleashed a mighty swing, causing the ball to fly off the barrel of the bat, but Shawn Sanders lifted his 5-8 frame off the ground to snag the ball out of the air, sealing the win for the Sharks.

Wilmington will be at home again Friday evening against the Florence RedWolves, who were crowned the CPL West first half champion on the last day of June. Friday's game is one that cannot be missed.

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