FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Peninsula Pilots snapped a two-game losing streak with a crucial 6-4 road victory over the Fayetteville SwampDogs on Saturday night at J.P. Riddle Stadium.
Peninsula jumped out to a 2-0 lead after their first at-bats. Back-to-hack walks to Nathan Eaton (VMI) and Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) set up Logan Augustine’s (Lincoln Memorial) RBI single. After a sacrifice bunt moved runners into scoring position, a RBI ground out by Conor Davis (Auburn) gave the Pilots an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Fayetteville responded with a run in the first inning to cut the deficit to one.
The Pilots extended their lead with a pair of runs in the third inning. Griggs reached on an error to lead off the inning and stole second. After a walk to Augustine, the two runners successfully executed a double steal. Davis brought in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly followed by an Ethan Bloom (Lewis) RBI single for a 4-1 lead.
In the fifth inning, Matt Schneider (Mercyhurst) knocked a one-out double and came around to score on two passed balls.
Fayetteville chipped at the Pilots’ lead with a few runs in the bottom of the frame. Three straight singles set up a sacrifice fly for their second run. A pair of RBI singles later in the inning brought the Dogs within one.
Peninsula added an insurance run in the seventh inning when Schneider scored on an error.
The Pilots’ bullpen locked down in the final four innings to clinch the win. Collin Liberatore (Pittsburgh) picked up the win with three scoreless innings and four strike outs. Jackson Wark (St. Louis) struck out the side in the ninth for the save.
After a day off on Saturday, the Pilots head to Edenton for a pair of games on Monday and Tuesday before hosting back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday 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.