Wilmington, NC --The Wilmington Sharks (4-4) scored three runs in the final three innings, but their late offensive surge was an inning late and a run short as the Florence RedWolves (7-3) handed the Sharks a 4-3 loss. Friday night's loss was Wilmington's second straight loss, putting Wilmington back to an even .500 on the year.
Florence starting pitcher Benjamin Humphreys kept Wilmington off the scoreboard in his five innings of work, striking out six Sharks and allowing just three hits. His replacement, Allen Tokarz, cruised through his first inning but hit a snag in the seventh.
Hayes Nelson (Longwood) would be plucked by the first pitch in the inning, and waltzed up to second on a wild pitch. Sam Foy (Davidson) collected his second hit of the night on a ball up the middle to score Nelson from second. In his first game as a Wilmington Shark, Jose Hernandez (Mercer) singled to right field to move Foy up to second. Andrew Seigel (Concord) knocked one to right and Foy would be waved home.
Caleb Johnson (Eastern Kentucky) and Kevin Boswick (Lehigh) provided solid outings in relief of John Parke (S. Carolina), who would absorb the loss. Parke (1-1) pitched 4.1 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits.
Trailing 4-2 and down to their final three outs, the Sharks would go down swinging. Jose Hernandez knocked his second hit of the game to lead off the ninth, and Matt Meeder (Mercer) would pinch run to add some speed to the base paths. Andrew Seigel drew a one out walk to put Sharks on first and second. Meeder would speed home on the third hit of the game by Nick Rotola (Oral Roberts). Tyler Keele earned the save by coaxing Brett Smith (Bucknell) into a fly out, and getting Alex Destino (S. Carolina) to strike out to end the game.
Wilmington will be hosted by the Wilson Tobs Saturday evening and the Edenton Steamers Monday before returning to the Shark Tank Tuesday to play the Wilson Tobs. Tuesday will be yet another Taco Tuesday, where fans can get $2 tacos from Moe's Southwest Grill and wash them down with $2 Corona and Modelo cans.