EDENTON, N.C. – The Peninsula Pilots rallied and then held off a late Edenton Steamers rally to clinch a 10-9 road victory at Historic Hicks Field on Saturday night.
Trailing by one in their final at-bats, Peninsula used clutch hitting to score four runs and take the lead and held off a late rally to snap a two-game losing skid.
Down 7-6 in the ninth, Matt Schneider (Mercyhurst) started the rally with a one-out walk. Logan Augustine (Lincoln Memorial) followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Back-to-back RBI singles by Drake McNamara (Southern Indiana) and Jonathan Embry (Liberty) put the Pilots on top 8-7. They continued to put pressure and scored two additional insurance runs which proved to be crucial later in the game. With two outs, Nathan Eaton (VMI) hit a single through the right side to score McNamara. Later in the inning, Embry scored on a wild pitch for the Pilots as they reached the double-digit plateau.
Clinging onto a three-run lead in the bottom of the frame, the Pilots turned to Ryan Fox (VCU) to close out the game. The right-hander retired the first two batters he faced before a two-out double by Anthony Maselli (Boston College) extended the inning enough for Dominic Cuevas (NC Central) to bring the Steamers within one with a two-run home run. A single and walk put the winning run on the bases as head coach Hank Morgan went with Eaton, who struck out Jamie Galazin (St. John’s) to end the game and clinch the victory.
Edenton jumped out to an early lead as they scored a run in the first inning. With the Steamers scoring the first run, that snapped a streak in which the Pilots scored first in nine straight games. A sacrifice fly by Jason Agresti (Binghamton) gave the hosts a 1-0 lead.
The Steamers extended their lead as an error and a RBI ground out by Tristan Carranza (New Mexico State) put the Pilots in the hole 3-0.
Peninsula battled back with four runs in the third inning to take the lead. Connor Stephens (Jacksonville) drew a one-out walk and moved to third on a single by Zac Ching (VMI). Scott Dubrule (Jacksonville) brought in the first run for the Pilots with a single through the right side. After a pop-out, Augustine delivered a three-run home run to center field to put the Pilots ahead by one.
The Pilots extended their lead in the fourth inning. Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) reached on an error to start the inning. After a single by Stephens moved Griggs to third, a bunt single by Ching scored Griggs. Dubrule followed with a single to load the bases. Matt Schneider (Mercyhurst) drew a walk to score a run and put the visitors ahead 6-3.
Edenton tied the game with three runs in the bottom half of the frame. Carranza delivered a RBI double to score the first run of the inning. Galazin brought the Steamers within one with a RBI ground out and Chris Ayers (Indiana State) delivered the game tying single to knot things at six apiece.
The Steamers took the lead in the fifth inning with a RBI single by Carranza before the Pilots rallied for four runs in the ninth.
Colt Harlow (James Madison) picked up the victory to move to 4-1 on the season after the late rally. The left-hander gave up a run and struck out four in four innings of work. Eaton got the final out to notch his third save of the season.
Carmen Giampetruzzi (Boston College) took the loss and evened his record at 2-2 on the season.
Peninsula returns home to War Memorial Stadium and will face the Fayetteville SwampDogs for a pair of games on Sunday and Monday night.
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The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 97 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.