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Paint the Park Pink Night in Fleming Stadium left the Wilson Tobs, garbed in pink jerseys to commemorate the occasion of raising breast cancer awareness and help fund mammograms, red-faced on a “Throwback Thirsty Thursday” before a large turnout.
The Tobs, in their only 2017 encounter against a Coastal Plain League West Division opponent, arguably embarrassed themselves after a spiffy start in a 15-3 summer collegiate baseball loss to the Martinsville Mustangs.
Starting Wilson pitcher Casey Williams (2-4), a right-hander, retired Martinsville in order in the top of the first inning. The Tobs, in their half of the first, tagged starting Mustangs right-hander Joshua Vincent for two runs.
But the lead lasted only three innings and the Tobs turned sloppy in the fourth and fifth innings. The Mustangs, aided by three Wilson errors, five walks and two hit batsmen, tied the score at 2-2 with a run in the fourth. The Mustangs not only seized the lead but chased Williams with four runs in the fifth.
Showcased were the two teams that statistics document as the poorest in the 15-team league.
The dubious numbers include: Martinsville last in the CPL in hitting and Wilson next-to-last; Wilson last in pitching and Martinsville 12th; Wilson last in walks issued and the Mustangs 13th; Wilson last in overall record and Martinsville 12th. Both teams occupy the cellar in their respective division.
The Mustangs also ranked last defensively,but didn’t play the part with an errorless performance that included a pair of gems.
Wilson’s league-worst record dropped to 12-27 while Martinsville improved to 17-25. In the second half, the Tobs stand 3-8 while the Mustangs are 3-12. Both teams were coming off wins with the Mustangs ending a 10-game skid.
The Tobs are back in Fleming Stadium on Friday evening at 7:05 against East Division rival Peninsula.
A walk to center fielder Roberto Rivera, first baseman Shane Shepard’s run-scoring double and left fielder Josh Ladowski’s RBI single staked Wilson to a 2-0 lead in the first.
However, the Mustangs’ Vincent blanked the Tobs on three hits the next six innings.
The Mustangs capitalized on two walks, a bunt single and third baseman Emilio Abreu’ sacrifice fly to plate a run in the second. The only Martinsville hit in adding a run in the fourth was left fielder Matt Dunlevy’s single. The Tobs contributed an error and a wild pitch.
The ugly four-run fifth sent a horde of spectators to the beer garden. Shortstop Matt Berler’s single launched the spree. The Tobs committed two throwing errors; first baseman Kyle Wilkie pounded an RBI double; and Dunlevy capped the uprising with a run-producing single.
Left-handed Wilson reliever Will Edwards retired the first two batters in the sixth, but two walks set the stage for center fielder Zack Weatherford’s two doubles.
Like Edwards, right-hander Marcello Betances retired the first two batters in the seventh. From there, Martinsville stretched its cushion to 10-2 with two more runs. Following two walks, Berler singled and speedy second baseman Josh Smith slapped a run-scoring double.
Ditto for right-hander K.J. McAllister when the Mustangs added two more runs after the first two batters were retired.
Dunlevy went 3 for 3 to trigger a 11-hit assault for Martinsville, which benefited from eight walks, two hit batsmen and three Wilson errors. Smith tripled and doubled.
Shepard’s double and single in four trips paced Wilson.
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