WILMINGTON, NC -- After scoring six runs in the first three innings, the Wilmington Sharks (10-6) offense went quiet for the majority of the game. Thanks to some great relief pitching, they were able to hold on to defeat the Holly Springs Salamanders (4-11) 7-5.
Ryan Jeffers (UNC Wilmington) kicked off the scoring with a RBI double to left. The Sharks led 2-0 after Alec Bohm (Wichita State) hit a sacrifice fly. The Sharks added three runs in the second inning, two from Mark Donadio’s (Fordham) home run. Cletis Avery (Presbyterian) scored as well after he hustled out a single, stole second and third, and scored on a wild throw. Wilmington added one more run in the third when Bohm homered for the fifth time this year.
Trailing 6-0, Holly Springs had their work cut out for them. They strung together three hits to bring home three runs in the fourth, and added two more on a single in the fifth. They came close to tying the game, but a groundout with two on retired the side.
The bullpen went to work for the Sharks. Steven Powels (St. Joseph’s) and Ryan Kelly (St. Joseph’s) combined for three innings with one hit, no runs, and four strikeouts. Matt Meeder (Mercer) hit a sac fly to add an insurance run in the seventh, but the Salamanders left two on in the ninth to end the game.
The win went to Ethan Wortkoetter (1-1). He pitched six innings, allowing five runs on six hits, one walk and struck out seven. Chandler Sanburn (0-2) took the loss, pitching two innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and striking out one. Ryan Kelly (3) came on to slam the door in the ninth. He threw one inning with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts
The Sharks head out on a two game road trip to Virginia. They’ll play at Peninsula on Sunday and Petersburg on Monday. They’ll return home to face Asheboro on Wednesday.