Fans witnessed an instant classic on Thursday night at Buck Hardee Field, as the Wilmington Sharks (15-10) used a little ninth inning magic to win a wild game over the Edenton Steamers (10-16) by a score of 9-8.
After Edenton used two home runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game, the Sharks knew they'd need to walk off to win this one. Madison Stokes (South Carolina) got things started with a double off the wall, that was a few feet from being a walk off homer. After a walk, Ryan Jeffers (UNC Wilmington) grounded a ball to the shortstop. The fielder threw to third to try to get Stokes, but the third baseman missed the catch, the ball rolled down into left and Stokes came home to score.
Prior to this, the Sharks coughed up two separate four run leads. They scored three in the second inning, Jeffers hit a sacrifice fly, later scored, and Clark Scolamiero (South Carolina) brought home another with a single. Jeffers hit a second RBI single an inning later.
In the fourth, Edenton tied the game with four runs. Wilmington came right back in the bottom of the inning and took the lead on a 2 RBI triple from Scolamiero. They took an 8-4 lead, before losing it again in the ninth.
The win went to Ryan Kelly (1-0), even though he blew the save. He inherited a runner, and then threw one inning, with one hit, one run and one strikeouts. Sam Beattie (0-2) was the tough luck loser, pitching no registered innings, allowing one unearned run, on one hit and one walk.