Riley strikes out 100th batter in Sharks win

Riley strikes out 100th batter in Sharks win

From the Wilmington Sharks 

Connor Riley (USC Aiken) took the mound on Wednesday night with 89 strikeouts this season, and with the last out of the game, he picked up his 100th strikeout to seal victory for the Wilmington Sharks (29-17, 13-6) over the Fayetteville Swampdogs (5-13, 13-31) by a score of 3-1.

Riley didn't get the strikeout pitch working until late in the ballgame. He threw 11 strikeouts on the night, but eight of them came after the fifth inning, striking out seven of the last nine batters. When he started racking up the strikeouts, they came in a hurry. He threw two in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings, while striking out the side in the eighth.

The Sharks offense struggled a bit, but managed to score enough to get Riley the win. They scored in the first inning when Brett Smith (Bucknell) came home on a wild pitch. After Fayetteville tied it up, the Sharks took the lead again in the sixth when Madison Stokes (South Carolina) singled home a run, with Ryan Jeffers (UNC Wilmington) doing the same in the eighth. Riley came back out for the ninth with a pitch count over 100, and dug deep to pick up his 100th strikeout with the final out of the ballgame.

The win went to Connor Riley (6-3). He threw the Sharks first complete game of the season, with five hits, one run, three walks and 11 strikeouts. Kaeson Wilson (2-2) took the loss, pitching six innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits, two walks and three strikeouts.

The Sharks will play at home again on Thusrday, with tomorrow's Thirsty Thursday matchup against the Florence Redwolves.