WILMINGTON, NC – Wilmington Sharks pitchers limited the Holly Springs Salamanders to one run on five hits in a 5-1 victory at Buck Hardee Field on Saturday, July 10.

Maximillian Alba (UNC-Chapel Hill) earned his first win on the mound for Wilmington recording five shutout innings while allowing two hits, one walk and striking out seven Salamanders. Alba recorded five strikeouts in the first three innings of the contest including three consecutive swinging K’s to the heart of the Holly Springs order in the second.

Left-hander Joey Kemlage (American International University) delivered his first save of the season in his sixth appearance for the Sharks as he shut down the Salamanders with five strikeouts over three and two-thirds innings.

The Wilmington lineup produced single runs in five different innings on a team total of ten hits beginning with Andrew Ciufo (Georgetown University) scoring on a ground out in the bottom of the first inning. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Trotter Harlan (College of Charleston) crossed the plate after a sacrifice fly to center field by Kevin Gsell (Binghamton University) before Ciufo scored again in the fifth on another infield groundout giving the Sharks a 3-0 advantage.

Ciufo stole a hit from the Salamanders for the first out of the top of the sixth inning when he backhand-nabbed a grounder destined for leftfield, rotated and threw a high-arcing bullseye to Gsell to complete a dazzling 6-3 putout.

Holly Springs managed to score their lone run in the top of the sixth inning, the Sharks answered in the home half of the seventh when Alec Makarewicz (East Carolina University) crossed the plate on a balk by Salamanders righty Mike Walsh. Wilmington capped the victory with the club’s fifth run in the bottom of the eighth as John Behrends (Belmont University) laced a two-out single to centerfield to score Ciufo for the third time in the contest and give the Sharks a four-run cushion.

Ciufo piloted the Wilmington offense with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, three runs scored, was hit-by-pitch twice and singled twice. Taber Mongero (UNC-Wilmington) and David Smith (University of Connecticut) each recorded two hits for the night with Smith drawing a walk. Behrends, Harlan and Gsell each were 1-for-3 with Behrends and Gsell plating RBIs. Behrends added two stolen bases to his second total of six.

Zach Budzik (UNC-Greensboro) finished the game 1-for-4, drew a walk and stole his 18th base of the season while Makarewicz added a run scored and RBI. Harlan and Mongero swiped their tenth and third bases, respectively, giving Wilmington a total of 71 in 2021.

The Sharks return home to Buck Hardee Field on Wednesday, July 14 with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Tickets are available by calling the Sharks front office at 910-343-5621 or by visiting wilmingtonsharks.com.