Wilson Tobs second baseman Kyle Butler eyes a throw to first base after retiring Edenton's Dominic Cuevas on a force play during Thursday's game in Fleming Stadium. The Tobs lost 6-3. Sheldon Vick | Special to the Times
Roberto Rivera of the Wilson Tobs steals third base as the throw to Edenton's Jody Mundy does not come in time during the first inning of Thursday's game in Fleming Stadium. The Tobs lost 6-3. Sheldon Vick | Special to the Times
By Tom Ham
Senior Staff Writer
After having Wednesday night off, the Wilson Tobs found the third “Thirsty Thursday” in Fleming Stadium anything but relaxing.
The Edenton Steamers gave the Tobs fits in the Coastal Plain League summer league baseball encounter.
When the Steamers were not stealing bases (five) or beating out bunts (three), they were swatting the baseball out of the park (two home runs) in claiming a 6-3 victory.
The third 2017 loss to Edenton without a win dropped Wilson to 4-10 and kept head coach Aaron Lynch’s club at least sharing the East Division basement.
The Tobs visit the Fayetteville SwampDogs on Friday before returning to Fleming Stadium to oppose the Holly Springs Salamanders on Saturday and Sunday.
Edenton, an East Division foe, improved to 8-7 and climbed above .500 for the first time since it swept the Tobs at home in a doubleheader last week to rise to 6-5.
The Steamers also rapped three doubles as starting Wilson pitcher Casey Williams labored six innings, throwing some 120 pitches. Frustrating Williams’ task was the reluctance of the home-plate umpire to call his looping curve ball for a strike.
The Tobs matched the Steamers run-for-run through two innings (3-3 tie), but catcher Jason Agresti’s two-run homer in the top of the third inning resulted in a 5-3 edge that the Steamers did not relinquish.
In fact, Edenton starting left-handed pitcher Nick Wegamann and relievers Francis Ventura and Andrew McDonald combined to retire 13 consecutive Tobs before Wilson shortstop Alex King drew a one-out walk from McDonald in the seventh.
The Tobs threatened in the seventh when, with two outs, recent addition Josh Ladowski, the right fielder, singled King to third base. However, McDonald escaped unscathed by retiring center fielder Roberto Rivera on a called third strike.
Williams was unable to keep the Steamers off the scoreboard until the fourth inning and did not pitch a clean inning.
After an error and walk to open the game, Edenton posted a 2-0 lead on Agresti’s two-run double. The Steamers stole four bases in the inning.
The Tobs got the two runs back in their half of the first on Rivera’s lead-off single, a hit batsman, a run-scoring wild pitch and catcher Zack Smith’s sacrifice fly.
Edenton took a 3-2 lead in the top of the second on No. 9 hitter Chris Williams’ solo homer.
Wilson bunched a single by third baseman Jake Holtzapple, a double by Ladowski and another sacrifice fly, this one by Rivera for a 3-3 tie.
In the third, Agresti’s homer followed designated hitter James Battley’s lead-off double.
Wegmann settled in on the mound for the Steamers and was aided by diving catches from left fielder Billy Wilson and center fielder Jamie Galazin.
The Tobs kept the deficit manageable by turning three double plays and thrice throwing out speedster
Connor Kopach on the base paths. Right fielder Ladowski’s strong, accurate throw nailed Kopach at the plate in the sixth.
However, Edenton added insurance in the eighth against right-hander Hank Simpson. Kopach’s bloop single with two outs drove in right fielder Chris Ayers, who led off with a single.
Left-handed reliever Carmen Giampetruzzi and closer Nick Spear shut down the Tobs the last two innings, combining for four strikeouts.