(HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C.) Despite bringing the crowd to their feet in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, the Manders couldn't quite complete the last-inning comeback as the Fayetteville Swampdogs won the ballgame by a 4-3 score. Sunday's ballpark was filled with a great atmosphere, as it was Christmas in July at Ting Stadium presented by the Just Call Brenda Real Estate Team.
The Manders got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning when Chris Crabtree (Duke) hit his first home run of the season, a no-doubter to right field to open the scoring.
Entering the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-1, Clemente Inclan (UNC) led off the inning with a solo blast to right, his first of the season to cut the lead to two. After Peyton Isaacson (St. Leo) flew out to the warning track in left center, pinch hitter Earl Semper (UNC) hit a solo blast of his own to right center, to make it a 4-3 ballgame and bring the fans to their feet. However, Swampdogs reliever Joshua Avila was able to get the final two outs via a lineout and a strikeout and the ballgame was over, much to the relief of the Swampdogs.
Outside of one inning, it was another great performance by the Salamander pitching staff. Starter Christian Scafidi (Penn) delivered another great outing, tossing five scoreless frames, striking out eight and allowing only one hit. Coleman Williams (Duke) tossed a scoreless sixth, striking out the side and giving way to Jake Isbell (Pitt CC) in the seventh.
After a scoreless seventh inning, Fayetteville scored four times in the top of the eighth off of four hits and a key throwing error by Isbell on a bunt play. Sunday's loss marked the fourth time the Manders have fallen to Fayetteville by just one run.
The loss pushed Holly Springs to 4-6 in the second half and 12-24 overall on the season. The Salamanders will take these same Swampdogs on on Monday night at JP Riddle Stadium before returning to Ting Stadium to host the Wilmington Sharks on Tuesday for a 7:00 first pitch. #ManderMania
Sunday's box score: https://www.coastalplain.com/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180715_kjl8.xml