Wilmington, NC – The Wilmington Sharks improved their 2021 record to 5-4 with consecutive victories one-run over the Morehead City Marlins on Sunday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 8.
On Sunday, the Sharks trailed Morehead City 5-1 as the game entered the bottom of the eighth inning with the lone Wilmington run coming in on a Trotter Harlan (College of Charleston) single to score Raheem Salmon (Stetson University) in the bottom of the fifth. The Wilmington comeback offensive began in the bottom of the eighth when John Behrends (Belmont University) blasted a two-run home run to score Salmon and narrow the Marlin lead to 5-3.
Zack Budzik (UNC-Greensboro) ledoff the bottom of the ninth with a double followed by a walk issued to pinch-hitter Jack Lynch (Ithaca College). Pinch-hitters Chase Nixon (NC State) and Donald Hansis (College of Charleston) laced consecutive singles to score Budzik and Lynch, tying the game at 5-5. Morehead City issued an intentional walk to Berhends to place runners at first and second for first baseman Kevin Gsell (Binghamton University), who entered the game as pinch hitter in the eighth.
Gsell proceeded to lash a hard ground ball single on a 1-1 count from Marlins reliever Kole Tauzin to score Nixon giving Wilmington their second walk-off victory in as many games.
Trey Pooser (College of Charleston) picked up the win for the Sharks in relief as he struck out two Marlins in the top of the ninth and aided his case by fielding a routine ground out. Sharks starter Joey Kemlage took no decision as he limited Morehead City to two runs on six hits over six innings while striking out seven batters.
Sharks hitters were paced by Harlan who went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two stolen bases, Behrends who was 1-for-1 with a walk, run and two RBI and Nixon who went 1-for-1 and scored the winning run. Budzik, Andrew Cuifo (Georgetown University), Salmon and Damon Maynard (USC-Upstate) each went 1-for-3 with Budzik and Salmon each scoring one run.
On Tuesday, the Sharks recorded their fifth consecutive victory with a 4-3 decision on the road at Morehead City.
Sharks starter Trey Pooser notched the win as he limited the Marlins to one run over five innings, allowing five hits and striking out three before giving way to a procession of six relief arms. The relief core combined to toss nine strikeouts as Jacob Grzebinski (Georgetown University) picked up the save with two punchouts.
The Marlins took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the first inning before Wilmington struck for the lead with a three-run homer off the bat of Budzik to score Harlan and Donald Hansis (College of Charleston). With a 3-1 advantage, the Sharks plated a run in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by Gsell to score Budzik making the game 4-1.
Morehead City narrowed the Sharks lead with solo runs in the bottom of sixth and eighth innings until Grzebinski shut down the Marlins in the home half of the ninth to seal the Wilmington victory.
Budzik led Wilmington hitters with a 3-for-4 performance including three runs, three RBIs and a home run. Harlan, Gsell, Behrends and Chaz Bertolani (Lipscomb) each added hits with Harlan crossing the plate for one run. Hansis finished the night 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Sharks return to Buck Hardee Field on Thursday, June 10 against the Myrtle Beach 8’s of the Cal Ripken Summer Collegiate League for a 7:05 PM first pitch. For tickets visit wilmingtonsharks.com or call 910-343-5621.