The Holly Springs Salamanders nearly pulled off their fifth-consecutive win at Ting Stadium, Tuesday, but left the tying run at third during a 6-5 loss to the Wilmington Sharks.
Wilmington reliever Erik Janss entered the game with two outs in the ninth inning and struck out Salamanders left fielder Ian Bailey with the bases loaded to clinch the contest.
Wilmington broke open a scoreless game in the third inning when leadoff hitter Steven Curry knocked a double and Jacob Plastiak followed with a bomb to straightaway center that skirted off the top of the wall for a 2-0 lead.
Curry once again struck with a double in the fifth to knock in Garrett Jensen after a leadoff walk, 3-0. Curry finished 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.
Then, Bailey came to the dish with the bases loaded and, this time, smoked a grand slam over the left field fence during the sixth inning to quickly turn the tide for the Salamanders in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Salamanders held the lead late as Nick Pry and Brandon Bell delivered scoreless outings innings in relief of starter Mark Tindall, but the Sharks struck back in the bottom of the ninth.
Tyler Greer hit a single, the third of the inning against Salamanders pitcher Baker Nelson, to knock in Jacob Parker before Garrett Jensen cleared the bases with a two-out triple and a 6-4 Wilmington lead before the Salamanders late surge.
Mark Tindall started for the Salamanders, pitching five innings, allowing six hits and three runs, while striking out five.
Mike Picollo started for the Sharks, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing one hit, four walks and one run while striking out two.
The Salamanders record falls to 5-5. They play at High Point-Thomasville at 7 p.m. tomorrow and will look to start another home winning streak, Thursday, June 13, against the Hi-Toms during Bark in the Park Night.