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Weather permitting, the Wilson Tobs summer collegiate baseball team returns to action Saturday evening in sole possession of the Coastal Plain League North Division lead.
The Tobs climbed atop the four-team division by outlasting the Edenton Steamers, 10-8, in 11 innings on the road Thursday night. Wilson’s win coupled with Martinsville’s loss to Peninsula left the Tobs out front by a game at 4-0 against Martinsville (4-2).
Wilson, with a 14-14 overall record, will be in quest of its fifth consecutive win in Fleming Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Morehead City Marlins, first-half winners in the East Division.
The Tobs’ scheduled game at home against Martinsville on Friday night was postponed because of rain and rescheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, July 12, in Fleming as part of a doubleheader.
With the Coastal Plain League instituting the international tiebreaker to decide extra-inning games for the first time this season, the Tobs evened their record at 1-1 in tiebreaker contests at Edenton on Thursday.
Wilson forced extra innings with a run in the top of the ninth inning, producing a 6-6 deadlock. Both teams scored twice in the 10th.
The tiebreaker is implemented by the team at bat placing base runners at second and first to begin the inning.
In the top of the 11th, Tobs catcher Shamony Christopher drilled a run-scoring single. On the play, Ben Faso, who began the inning at first base, also scored when the Steamers right fielder’s throw sailed into the Edenton dugout.
In the bottom of the 11th, Wilson right-hander Luis Acosta quickly dispensed with the Steamers, getting a game-ending double play.
Acosta worked the last three innings in notching his third win against two losses.
The losing pitcher for Edenton was Troy Maslowski, a rising junior at Barton College.
The Steamers were left winless in four second-half outings and plunged to 12-18 in all games.
The Tobs jumped to a 3-0 lead but Edenton grabbed a 6-5 edge in the bottom of the eighth when T.J. Wegmann connected for a two-run home run against Charlie Sheehan, the fifth Wilson pitcher.
But in the top of the ninth, Faso laced a one-out single against Edenton pitcher Ryan Scharf. A wild pitch and passed ball advanced Faso to third base.
After J.T. Stone drew a walk and Christopher struck out, Drew Brooks delivered an RBI single for a 6-6 tie.
The threat died when a pitch got away from the Edenton catcher, but he recovered and tossed the baseball to Scharf to nab Stone at the plate.
Against Acosta, the Steamers stranded base runners at second and third in the bottom of the ninth.
The top of the 10th opened with Christopher standing on second base and Brooks on first. Jacob Nester put down a successful sacrifice bunt. Matt McCourt was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jack Duffy sent the Tobs ahead 7-6 with a sacrifice fly. McGowan walked and Wilson’s lead became 8-6 when Caleb Dean reached on the third baseman’s error.
But in the bottom of the 10th, Edenton forged an 8-8 tie with an RBI single and an RBI groundout.
Wilson chased starting Edenton pitcher Zach Stromberg in the third with three runs on five walks. McCourt plated a run with a bases-loaded walk and Duffy slapped a two-run single.
The Steamers chased starting Tobs left-handed pitcher David Harrison with three runs in the fifth to grab a 4-3 lead.
In Wilson’s two-run eighth, Christopher and Nester each singled and Duffy’s grounder plated a run. Duffy wound up with four RBIs.
After Saturday night’s games, CPL teams break for the all-star show and return to regular-season action next Wednesday.