For the second-consecutive trip to Colonial Heights, Virginia, the Pilots did not come away with the win — just the third loss to Tri-City this season.
Peninsula (20-8 if they lose, 3-3 second half) dropped its fourth-consecutive Coastal Plain League road game in its 7-5 loss to the Chili Peppers (6-18, 2-2 second half) after Tri-City third baseman Logan Jarvis hit two of the team’s three home runs.
For the third straight game at Shepherd Stadium, the Chili Peppers posted a crooked number in the bottom of the first inning.
Jarvis opened the scoring with his first homer of the evening before center fielder Carson Jones drove in the third run of the inning on an RBI double, giving Tri-City a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Pilots got on the board courtesy of an error by Chili Peppers shortstop Jack Capobianco to cut the game to 3-1, but the wheels fell off in the bottom half of the inning to put the game out of reach.
Jarvis went yard yet again to lead off the inning followed by back-to-back walks issued by Pilots left-hander Robert Cook to put runners on first and second with no outs.
Next batter — catcher Cole Christman — laced a three-run bomb for his second round-tripper of the year to put the Chili Peppers ahead 7-1.
The Pilots did not go quietly, though, roaring back for a four-run eighth inning.
Both center fielder Trey Morgan and designated hitter Jack Dragum reached base via the walk to start the inning before two wild pitches in first baseman Erik Stock’s at-bat scored Morgan from third. Stock ended up walking as well to put runners on the corners with no outs.
After back-to-back strikeouts from right fielder Alden Mathes and shortstop Logan Steenstra, catcher Justin Starke smoked a heat-seeking missile that cleared the 336-foot wall in left field by a few feet to make it 7-5 in favor of Tri-City, inching the Pilots closer to consecutive nights of comeback victories of the Chili Peppers.
Their valiant effort was crushed in the ninth by Tri-City left-hander Elijah Parks who successfully completed the six-out save with a pair of strikeouts in the final at-bat for the Pilots.
Peninsula returns home to War Memorial Stadium where they are 13-1 on the season for their first Wednesday home game of 2021. They will take on Holly Springs — who they are 1-1 against on the year — for the first time since June 9 where the Salamanders won 2-1.
First pitch is at 7 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. The game will be live streamed on FloSports and live stats will be available on www.pointstreak.com.