(HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C.) Patience was a virtue early in Saturday's game for Holly Springs hitters, and aggression was the recipe for success late as the Salamanders broke out for 10 runs on offense to beat the Wilmington Sharks 10-5 for their second straight win on Saturday night.
The Salamanders used eight different pitchers Saturday in a 'bullpen day' layout, with Cam Colmore (ECU) being the only Mander pitcher to go more than three outs (six). Riley Myers (Catawba) was Saturday's winning pitcher, tossing the top of the third inning, allowing one run on three hits, striking out one.
The Salamanders got on the board in the bottom of the third inning, trailing 1-0. With runners on the corners, a wild pitch by Wilmington starter Austin Skipper brought Chris Davis (Princeton) in from third and moved Jacob Maekawa (San Diego State) to second to tie the game. Skipper had all kinds of trouble finding the strike zone in the third, walking four Salamanders and hitting another. The second and third runs to cross in the inning came in on bases-loaded walks drawn by Angel Zarate (UNC) and Chase Allen (Limestone) to put the Salamanders on top 3-1.
Chris Davis led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to right field, his second of three hits on the night, which give Davis six hits in his last two ballgames. After stealing second and advancing to third on a groundout, Davis would score on a wild pitch for the second time, this one uncorked by Wilmington reliever Seth Chestnut. Later in the inning, Clemente Inclan (UNC) was the hitter with the bases loaded and two outs, and for the second straight night the Salamanders got a big hit with ducks on the pond. The first baseman singled to right center, scoring Daulton Martin (Tusculum) and Patrick Wheeler (Pitt CC) who had both walked in the inning, as Chestnut also had lots of trouble staying in the strike zone. After the fourth, the Manders had a 6-1 lead.
Things got interesting after Wilmington plated one in the top of the fifth and three more in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 6-5, but in the bottom half the Manders got right back on the scoreboard, when Daulton Martin came up with the bases loaded and two outs. The Holly Springs second baseman grounded one slowly up the first base line, and Sharks first baseman Ward Coleman was unable to make a play. The play was scored an infield base hit, and Chase Allen came in to score to extend the Salamander lead to 7-5.
In the bottom of the eighth, The Salamanders put the game away. With runners on the corners and one out, left fielder Carter Williams (NCCU) singled up the middle to score Clemente Inclan to make it an 8-5 ballgame. Williams' hustle on the base paths would result in the Manders' tenth run, when catcher Jack Goertzen (Shippensburg) grounded a ball to first base. Wilmington got the force out at second base, but the return throw to first was low and late, resulting in Sharks pitcher Danny Wondrack falling to the turf as he caught the ball. With Wondrack on the ground, Wiliams scored all the way from second, coming in behind Chase Allen to make the lead five and the score 10-5.
The Salamanders have won back-to-back games for the second time this season and back-to-back home games for the first time this season. The win puts the Manders at 2-4 in the second half and 10-22 overall on the season.
The Salamanders have three days off for the All-Star break (where they will be represented at the All-Star Game by Peyton Isaacson and Cam Locklear) before returning to action July 11 at Asheboro. Holly Springs is back at Ting Stadium Friday, July 13 for a 7:00 first pitch against the Edenton Steamers. #ManderMania
Saturday's box score: https://www.coastalplain.com/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180707_1y74.xml