The Salamanders season home opener occurred in front of a packed Ting Park as they hosted the Morehead Marlins on Saturday, July 1st with a 6:30 first pitch.
The Marlins struck first and early as Marliin shortstop Caleb Ricca lead the game off with a stand up double at the base of the left centerfield wall. Jordan Schulefand followed with a walk and both later scored as Jack Harris delivered a triple to right center field. Salamanders starting pitcher Chris Joyner in combination with Harrison Fant in relief held the Marlins scoreless for the next 8 innings. The Salamanders received their first hit in the 2nd inning with a double off the bat of Tyshawn Barrett. Barrett, however, was left stranded on 3rd. Catcher John Michael Faile finally put the Salamanders on the board in the bottom of the 5th when he blasted a mammoth home run to left center off a 1 – 1 count from Marlin pitcher Eric Miles.
The Salamanders added another run to tie the game in the 6th inning when when Ian Smith scored off a ground ball to 2nd off the bat of Dan Leckie. The Salamanders attempted to put the game away in the bottom of the 8th inning adding 3 more runs. Tyler Smith scored the first run in the 8th off a wild pitch from AG Ayola. Ian Bailey scored the 2nd run when Tyshawn Barrett singled to right. Barrett's single advanced John Michael Faile to 3rd in the process. Ryan Guckin delivered a sacrifice fly to right scoring Michael-Faile for the Salamanders third run of the inning.
The Marlins were not to go down easily in the 9th as Catcher Hunter Nabors lead of the frame with a home run to left. A single by Camden Williamson, a walk to Tony Mack and Caleb Ricca, put the bases full of Marlins with no outs. Jordan Schulefand delivered a sacrifice fly to left for the first out. Consecutive put outs in a row by 3rd baseman Cody Cline shut the door for the Salamanders victory. The final score from Ting Park was Salamanders 5 and the Marlins 4.
The Salamanders and the Marlins face off once again tomorrow evening from Morehead with a scheduled first pitch of 7:05.