Wilmington, NC-- The Edenton Steamers (44-17) will advance to the Petitt Cup Championship as they defeated the Wilmington Sharks (32-27) by a score of 7-6 on Wednesday afternoon at Historic Hicks Field. In the loss that ends their season, Wilmington scored five of their six runs by way of the long ball.
Sam Foy’s solo homerun in the second put the Sharks on the board. They added three more in the fourth inning on Andy Austin’s homerun to bring in Jae Roberts, who reached on a single.
Another run would score in the fourth after Nick Rotola singled to continue the inning. Brett Smith’s single would put Sharks on the corners. Alex Destino reached on an error by the first baseman to bring in Rotola and put the Sharks up 4-0.
Sharks starter Hunter Smith was remarkable in Game 3. He faced the minimum through the first three innings, while striking out eight of nine batters he faced, including seven straight. However, he ran into a little trouble as the Steamers made their second trip through the lineup.
Smith would allow his first base runner of the ballgame when Evan Rogers singled. Following another single and a walk, Edenton had the bases loaded with nobody away. Smith buckled down and struck out two in a row to bring his strikeout tally to ten on the game.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth, Nick Maguire hit his second homerun of the series to clear the bases and tie the game 4-4. This was the end of the road for Smith, as he was replaced by Reed Scott for the fifth inning.
The Sharks regained the lead in the sixth inning as Hayes Nelson hit a homerun with the bases empty, and has homered in back-to-back games before going the first 57 games of the summer without one.
Wilmington added another in the seventh inning on another solo homerun by Sam Foy, his third of the Eastern Championship Series.
Trailing 6-4 in the eighth inning, Edenton had runners on first and second base and 6 outs to tie or take the lead. Chad Sedio, the most dangerous batter in the Coastal Plain League, was 0-3 to that point and had grounded into a double play and struckout twice. His double in the gap scored two and tied the game 6-6. Edenton went on top 7-6 as Nick Maguire traded spots with Sedio. Maguire finished the game 2-4 with 6 RBIs on a homerun and a double.
With their backs to the wall, Wilmington would not go down in the ninth without a fight. Kyle Nowlin reached on an error and was erased as Jose Hernandez grounded into a fielders choice. Matt Whatley was inserted for Hernandez to add some speed to the basepaths. Sam Foy’s single allowed Whatley to speed around to third. This was Foy’s third hit of the game to go along with his two homeruns and two RBIs. Jae Roberts flew out to center field to end the game.