Written By: Braedon DeFalco

WILMINGTON, NC- Wednesday (7/6) brought the Holly Springs Salamanders to Buck
Hardee Field for a double header against the Wilmington Sharks. This doubleheader was the
product of Friday’s (7/1) postponement between the two teams due to inclement weather. The
Shark Tank was full of fans, both human and canine, as the Sharks celebrated Bark in the Park
The Sharks offense started out hot, plating 3 runs in the 1 st inning. Maddux Houghton
(Lipscomb) hit a 2 RBI single, and AJ Mendolia (Central Arkansas) followed him up with an
RBI single of his own. The offense didn’t slow down in the 2 nd inning, as Taber Mongero (UNC-
Wilmington) drove in his college teammate Noah Bridges (UNC-Wilmington), with Andrew
Ciufo (Georgetown) hitting a subsequent RBI single of his own. Holly Springs would get one
back in the top half of the 3 rd , but the Sharks matched them with a Pat Monteith (North
Greenville) sacrifice fly to make it 6-1 Sharks. However, the 4 th inning is where the Salamanders
began to storm back. They would go on to score 2 in the top half of the inning and 2 more in the
5 th to cut the Sharks lead to only one. The Sharks would take the 6-5 lead into the 7 th inning,
which due to the double header, was the last inning of the game. The Salamanders got their first
two runners aboard and followed that with a back breaking 3 run home run. Wilmington couldn’t
plate a run in the bottom half of the 7 th and the Salamanders went on to win 8-6 in what was a
seemingly very winnable game for the Sharks.
The pitching was not as egregious as the score makes it seem, as Joe Cobb (Lenoir-Rhyne) went
4 strong innings only allowing 3 hits and 3 earned runs while striking out 4. Unforced errors
were the mantra of the night, as the Salamanders finished with only 7 hits despite scoring 8 runs.
Sharks pitching gave up 4 walks and the defense had an error as well as a dropped third strike, all
of which led to runs scoring. Aaron Hubbell (Belmont) followed Cobb and threw 2 innings
giving up 1 hit, 1 walk, and 2 runs while striking out 2. Peyton Consigli (Canisius) came on for
the save and gave up the poignant go-ahead home run, which was the first time this season he
had been hit for any relative damage.
Despite the bitter loss, the Sharks will look to take positives out of it. The offense remained
productive in the runs department, and if not for a few untimely walks, the pitching held its own
as well. Their short-term memory will be put to the test right away, as a 30-minute break is all
that separates them from Game 2 against the Salamanders. The Sharks will look to take Game 2
and split the doubleheader, carrying momentum into Thursday’s (7/7) game against the
Asheboro Zookeepers.