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Pilots Slither by Salamanders

 HAMPTON, Va. – The Peninsula Pilots slithered by the Holly Springs with two late runs to win their fifth consecutive game with a 3-1 victory at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

Tied at one apiece, the Pilots used two runs in the seventh inning to stay hot and keep pace in the East Division by winning its fifth straight game.

Peninsula (22-15, 6-3) struck first with a run in the third inning. Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) led off the inning with a double to left field. After a sacrifice bunt moved Griggs to third, Nathan Eaton (VMI) lifted a sacrifice fly to center deep enough for Griggs to score the first run of the game.

Holly Springs (15-21, 4-4) wasted no time in tying the game up as with a RBI single by Jacob Jaye (VMI).

After trading zeroes for the next few innings, the Pilots retook the lead with two runs in the seventh inning. Spencer Horwitz (Radford) led off the inning with a single. Conor Davis (Auburn) followed with a fielder’s choice that was thrown away to put runners on the corners with no outs. Griggs then loaded the bases as he reached on a wild pitch after a strike out. Connor Stephens (Jacksonville) drove in the go-ahead run with a double play. Eaton extended the advantage with a RBI single to left field for a 3-1 lead.

Matt Mullenbach (Lincoln Memorial) and Ryan Fox (VCU) each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the win and cap a strong pitching performance from six pitchers. Nick Spadafino (Delaware) received the start and tossed three scoreless innings. The right-hander did not allow a hit and struck out two. Patrick Monteverde (Virginia Wesleyan) gave up the lone run in the fourth inning but minimized the damage as he left the Salamanders with the bases loaded. Tyler Garbee (Pittsburgh) retired all six batters he faced and Tim Edwards (West Chester) tossed a scoreless seventh inning to even his record to 1-1 on the season.

Peninsula will have an off day on Sunday before hosting Edenton on Monday night at War Memorial Stadium for St. Patrick’s Day!

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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.