Wilmington, N.C. – The Wilmington Sharks (15-8, 29-21) swept the Fayetteville SwampDogs (9-9, 26-19) in a doubleheader at home on Tuesday night as they won game one 1-0 in eight innings and game two 1-0.
Game one was a pitcher’s duel with good defense from both squads. Derek Justice threw a complete game shutout for the Sharks as he gave up two hits and struck out four to move his record to 1-1 on the year.
The Sharks had a few chances in the ballgame to take the lead especially in the bottom of the seventh as they loaded up the bases with no outs and were unable to score a run as the pitching and defense from Fayetteville kept a Shark run off the board and sent it into extras.
Zach MacAneney led off the bottom of the eighth inning for the Sharks with a walk. Alex Freedman laid down a bunt and reached safely on an errant throw from Cody Dix, which allowed MacAneney to move into third with no outs. Zach Stephens was intentionally walked to load the bases for Tommy Houmard. Dix was able to get Houmard to pop out and put one out on the board and face Mike Dunster who ended up walking with the bases loaded and that allowed MacAneney to score and give the Sharks a 1-0 win in game one.
Game two had the same feel as good pitching and defense was the name of the game for both teams. The SwampDogs threatened early in the top of the first with the bases loaded as Ryan Nagle hit a fly ball into left field with one out that was caught by Tyler Slaton which put two outs on the board and in the same play Mitchell Kranson tried to tag up and score from third, but a perfect throw from Slaton to TJ Losby at home kept the game tied 0-0.
Dunster led off the bottom half of the third for the Sharks with a walk and reached third safely on a single from Slaton to put runners on the corners with no outs. Slaton stole second and the throw from Tyler Moore went into center field which allowed Dunster to score and give Wilmington a 1-0 lead.
Neither team could get a lot of offense going throughout the game as Fayetteville had runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth and Derek Gibson tried to score from second on a hit to MacAneney in centerfield, but a perfect throw on a line from MacAneney got Gibson at home to keep another run off the board and kept the lead in favor of the Sharks.
The bullpen stayed strong again for the Sharks as Hunter Smith threw four innings of shutout baseball in relief and picked up his second win of the year. Zach Stephens picked three hits for the Sharks during games on Tuesday night.
The Wilmington Sharks will return back to action on Thursday night as they take on the Petersburg Generals at home with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.