Collapse in 8th inning sends Tobs to 9-5 loss

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EDENTON — A two-home run game from Shane Shepard could not prevent the Wilson Tobs from stumbling to another tough-to-take loss Friday night at Hicks Field.

Shepard and Josh Ladowski each had two-run home runs in the sixth inning to give Wilson a 4-2 lead over the Edenton Steamers in the Coastal Plain League contest. Trailing 5-4 in the eighth, Shepard launched his team-leading ninth home run of 2017, a solo shot, to tie it at 5. Ladowski had his second homer of the year in the sixth.

Yet the Tobs’ pitching and defense simply gave the game away in the eighth.

In three consecutive batters with the bases loaded, Wilson unraveled with a hit batter by K.J. McAllister, a walk from Will Edwards and a two-run infield error by Brady Lloyd. The blunders produced four Edenton runs and allowed the hosts to pull away for an eventual 9-5 victory.

With just two games remaining, Wilson dropped to 17-37 overall and 8-18 in the second half of the Coastal Plain season. Edenton moved to 29-24 and 12-13 in second-half action.

The Tobs led 4-2 in the seventh on the strength of Shepard and Ladowski’s homers, but Anthony Maselli and Billy Wilson each hit solo shots out of the short dimensions of Hicks to tie it. Edenton took the lead in the top of the seventh on a Tobs error before Shepard’s second long ball tied it in the eighth.

Wilson is off Saturday before hosting Wilmington in the Fleming Stadium finale Sunday. A road game at Fayetteville on Monday will close the Tobs season.