HAMPTON, VA-- An early rally gave the Wilmington Sharks (21-11, 5-0) a lead on Thursday night, but they would have to sweat it out as they held on to win 6-5 over the Peninsula Pilots (21-10, 2-2).
Grant Koch (Arkansas) hit an RBI double to give the Sharks the lead in the 2nd. Peninsula responded quickly with two runs to take the lead back. Then the Sharks offense started clicking. Alec Bohm (Wichita State) got things started with a RBI single, and Cletis Avery (Presbyterian) did the same. Madison Stokes (South Carolina) doubled to bring home Bohm, and Koch doubled to score both Avery and Stokes. When the side was finally retired, the score was 6-2 Sharks.
Peninsula chipped away at Wilmington’s lead. They scored once in the third and again in the fourth. Trailing by two in the ninth inning, the Pilots put two men on base. A single would have loaded the bases, but the throw back in went wild and a run scored to make it a one run game. A pop fly got the second out of the inning, but a walk loaded the bases. Finally, with the bases loaded and two outs, a line drive went to right and was caught to end the game.
The win went to Connor Riley (3-3). He threw two and two thirds innings, with one hit, no runs, one walk and five strikeouts. Devin Hemmerich (2-1) took the loss, pitching three innings, allowing six runs on six hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Ryan Kelly (6) pitched for the six out save with two innings, one unearned run on two hits, with three walks and one strikeout.
The Sharks return home Friday to host Fayetteville, before hitting the road for their final game before the all star break at Morehead City.