HAMPTON, Va. (July 6, 2022) – The Peninsula Pilots made the most of two scoring opportunities in the middle innings and six pitchers kept Tri-City at bay in 2-1 Pilots’ victory over the Chili Peppers on Wednesday night at War Memorial Stadium.
Tri-City outhit the Pilots 6-1, but the Pilots made those two single runs stand up thanks to strong defense and pitching.
The Pilots got their lone hit of the night in the first inning. Mac Moise (Florida Gulf Coast) doubled with one out, sending Trey Morgan (VMI), who had walked, to third. The pair were stranded in scoring position that inning, but the Pilots didn’t need the benefit of a hit to score in the fourth and fifth innings.
Michael Robertson (Florida) led off the bottom of the fourth by drawing a walk. He stole second base and advanced to third on a balk. Elijah Dickerson (Towson) later walked with one out and the Pilots tried a double steal. Dickerson was thrown out at second base, but Robertson crossed the plate with the game’s first run.
The fifth-inning score started the same way as catcher Huck Wathan (Charlotte) led off with a walk. Ty Swaim (VMI) bunted him to second. With two outs, Morgan reached on a Chili Peppers’ error that allowed Wathan to score, making it 2-0 in the Pilots’ favor.
The Chili Peppers cut the lead in half in the sixth, but the Pilot pitchers kept the guests out of the scoring column thereafter. Samuel Rochard (Central Arizona) struck out the side in the seventh before Mason Miller (Florida Gulf Coast) worked out of trouble in the eighth and ninth innings. In the eighth, Morgan started a 3-6-3 double play with runners on the corners to end the scoring threat.
In the ninth, a pair of Tri-City singles put runners at the corners with two outs. But Miller struck out pinch hitter Avery Neaves looking to end the game.
Peyton Hutson, the third Pilots pitcher of the night, was credited with the win. He struck out two in his one inning pitched. Miller earned the save after working the final two innings. Carmine Poppiti (James Madison) and Nate Varnier (William Peace) each pitched two innings, while Rochard and Harrison Coble (Pittsburgh) both worked one scoreless frame. The six Pilot pitchers combined to strike out 10 batters.
The Pilots take to the road to face Martinsville on Thursday night at 7 p.m. before returning home to face Wilson on Friday night.