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Tobs move on
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Tobs move on
Wilson bashes past Edenton for sweep in semifinals

EDENTON — Arguably, the Wilson Tobs are playing their best baseball when it matters most.

With the short porches of Edenton’s Hicks Field serving as the backdrop, the Tobs got a third-inning grand slam from Collins Cuthrell and Matt Rubino followed with a solo shot in the fourth as Wilson endured a furious Edenton rally to prevail 7-6 Thursday evening at Hicks Field. In the ninth, Wilson plated the winning run on a controversial call at second base against Steamers closer Josh Roeder, as a ball off the bat of Collins Cuthrell was fielded by second baseman Ryan Raslowsky.

But after Raslowsky tagged second base to potentially retire the Tobs’ Jake Armstrong, field umpire Jose Matamoros ruled Armstrong safe, allowing UNC’s Adam Pate to score. Pate led off with a single, moved to second on Kenny Hostrander’s bunt. Armstong’s single placed runners on the corners, setting up the wild play. Raslowsky was charged with an error on the play.

Quinn Atwood came on to close in the ninth, and sat down the Steamers in order to end it and earn the save.

With the win, the Tobs, the No. 3 seed from the East Division in the Coastal Plain League’s Pettit Cup playoffs, swept the No. 2 seed Steamers in two games.

Wilson will face the winner of a game 3 between the defending CPL champion Peninsula Pilots and Fayeteville SwampDogs. The deciding game in the series became necessary after the No. 1 seed Pilots turned back the No. 4 SwampDogs 7-2 at War Memorial Stadium.

University of Mount Olive hurler Ryan Minteer picked up the start for Wilson and found himself in an early hole. Raslowsky drew a one-out walk, enabling Nick Kranick to launch a double off the wall in left center for an early 1-0 Steamers lead. Blake Headley followed by dumping a single into right field to leave the Tobs down by a pair.

Wilson began its offensive march in the top of the second. With one out, Drew Cole doubled, and Rubino laced a run-scoring single to center field to make it 2-1.

In the third, Cuthrell’s third homer of 2014 was set up by a one-out walk to Zach Callahan, a Seth LaRue single, and a Ben Schmucker hit by pitch. Cuthrell then took the first pitch he saw from Edenton starter Manny Arciniega out and over the left-field wall to make it 5-2 Tobs.

Rubino led off the fourth with a solo homer to right field, his second of the year.

Edenton then worked its way back into the proceedings, using an Orlando Olivera single and back-to-back fielding errors by Matt Rembielak at shortstop to load the bases. Stefan Kancylarz grounded into a double play that plated Olivera, trimming Wilson’s lead to 6-3.

Edenton chased Minteer in the fifth after Kranick reached on a fielder’s choice that loaded the bases. Olivera and Headley rapped run-producing singles, and Chase Shepard drew a bases-loaded walk.

That leveled matters at 6, and chased Minteer after 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked three. Daniel Batts, who went on to work 2 2/3 innings, entered and got Kancylarz to line to LaRue at first for the double play.

With Arciniega departing in favor of Zach Eden in the 7th, the Tobs reclaimed the lead. Pate, a product of Charles B. Aycock High, singled with one out and stole both second and third base. That paved the way for Callahan, who brought home Pate with a single off the glove of Kancylarz and into left field.

Edenton loaded the bases with no one out in the bottom of the seventh, but could only get one run on Evan Rogers’ single into right field.

John Allen entered in the eighth and earned the victory before giving way to Atwood for the ninth. Allen faced four batters, striking out one and walking one.

Roeder took the loss after ceding Wilson’s winning run in the ninth.

Wilson outhit Edenton 10-8, with Pate, Cuthrell and Rubino each collecting two hits. Cuthrell drove in four runs with his grand slam, while Rubino knocked in two.

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