Thursday, June 12, 2014 7:27 AM
Tobs wait out Marlins
Wilson rallies in 8th inning for 5-2 win over Morehead City
By Randy Jones Staff Writer
As if it was part of an episode of “How I Met Your Baseball,” the key for the Wilson Tobs on Wednesday night was to wait for it.
With Morehead City Marlins left-hander Chris Good topping out at about 78 miles per hour, the Belhaven University rising senior had Wilson batters way out in front with his even slower changeup. He allowed just two hits and one run in seven innings, leaving with the Marlins up 2-1.
Wilson waited him out, as the Marlins’ bullpen blew the game in the eighth — the fourth straight time Morehead City relievers didn’t give any relief for their starters. Wilson scored three runs in the frame, ending a two-game losing streak inside Fleming Stadium.
“We have found many, many ways to lose,” said Marlins head coach Sam Carel, whose team dropped to 1-12. “The back part of the game, we just did not finish.”
Good left with his second strikeout of the night coming on his 89th pitch to end the seventh.
“Oh yes, we were glad,” Wilson head coach Justin Hay said of Good’s exit from the game. “He threw well. He kept our hitters off. But we knew that coming in. He has done that all season. I was very happy to see him go grab some ice.”
Marlins’ reliever Adam Quiles got the first out in the eighth, but Wilson’s Adam Pate reached on an error by second baseman Nick Lombardi to spark a rally.
Tobs’ third baseman Jake Armstrong, who came into the game in the inning before and didn’t have to face Good, doubled home Pate on a hit-and-run to tie the game at 2-2.
“I actually was kind of hoping to face him,” said Armstrong, who missed the past four games after returning to his home in Odessa, Texas, to see his younger sister’s high school graduation. “The reliever, he threw me a slider and I went and got it.”
An intentional walk to Dalton Knight ended Quiles’ night, and second reliever Casey Eskew loaded the bases by hitting Matthew Parrish.
The right-hander got the inning’s second out by inducing Ben Schmucker to ground into a force out at home, but designated hitter Seth LaRue followed with a walk to force in Knight for the 3-2 lead. Second baseman Charlie Yorgen then found a hole in the Marlins’ defense on a grounder by short, scoring Parrish and Schmucker for the final two runs.
Yorgen said he was happy to see Good not standing on the mound after he went 0 for 2, reaching when he was hit.
“Yeah, he gave everyone some trouble tonight,” the rising sophomore at East Carolina University said. “He really hit his spots, threw some good change-ups and pounded the outside of the zone. Which was tough on us left-handers.”
Wilson improved to 7-6 and sits a half-game behind third-place Fayetteville (7-5) in the CPL’s East Division. The SwampDogs’ game at Petersburg was rained out.
Chris Williams came in for the Tobs in the ninth, getting his first save and made a winner out of reliever Mikel Belcher.
Belcher (1-0) went 1 2/3 innings, giving up two hits. His wild pitch, however, allowed Morehead City to take the 2-1 lead game one pitch later on a sacrifice fly by Trent Leimkuehler in the seventh.
Starter Quinn Atwood went 5 2/3 innings, giving up an unearned run on five hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Hay credited Atwood and his relievers for picking up the pace during the game, helping out a Tobs defense that had committed 28 errors.
“I challenged our guys tonight,” Hay said. “Go out there and work quickly and increase the tempo. Keep everyone on their toes.”
Third baseman Doug Teegarden sparkled defensively after coming in with five errors on the year.
“I wanted to work fast, and yes, keep the guys on their toes,” Atwood said. “And they made the plays tonight. It really helped keep me in there.”
Atwood lost his no-hitter in the top of the fourth when he just missed snagging a grounder by Morehead City center fielder Blake Graham that went into the outfield for a single.
Graham would steal second and advance to third on Lombardi’s groundout to third. Johnny Caputo then grounded to Teegarden who threw home to Parrish to get Graham for out No. 2.
Schmucker next made a diving catch of Matt Simmons’ sinking liner to end the inning.
Teegarden also started a double play in the fifth to erase designated hitter Quincy Nieporte’s lead-off single.
The second time through the order, the Tobs started to get to Good.
Pate led off the fourth with a bunt single and Teegarden was hit by a pitch. A double steal attempt saw Pate take third and Teegarden get thrown out at second. Knight brought Pate home with a groundout to first for the game’s first run.
Atwood got into trouble after getting the first two MC batters out in the top of the sixth. Left-handed submariner John Allen from Campbell University relieved and got a pop foul on a 3-2 count, but Parrish dropped it for an error to give Matt Simmons new life. Simmons walked to load the bases, bringing Nieporte to the plate. A wild pitch by Allen brought home Lombardi with the unearned run from third to tie the game at 1-1. Nieporte fouled out to first on the next pitch to end the threat.
Belcher relieved Allen in the seventh to face Leimkuehler. Belcher’s first offering went to the backstop, allowing Luke Tewes to go to third. He scored on the next pitch for the 2-1 lead.
Wilson hosts Wilmington tonight at 7.
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