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Shepard's Two Homers Not Enough on Friday

08/04/2017 8:25 PM -

The Tobs lost a back-and-forth affair to the Edenton Steamers on Friday night, dropping the game 9-5 in front of a sellout crowd at Historic Hicks Field in Edenton, as the Steamers played their home finale. 

The first half of the game flew by, as both starting pitchers were sharp in the game's opening innings. For the Tobs, Brett Morrison (Lock Haven) went 5.2 innings for the Tobs, allowing only two runs (both earned) on six scattered hits, striking out four and walking four. On the mound for Edenton was Chris Ramirez (Colorado Mesa), who was sharp as sharp can be early. The left-hander went 7.0 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, striking out four and walking two. Despite both starters being on their game, it would become a battle of the bullpens, as neither starting pitcher got a decision on Friday. 

Edenton opened the scoring in the first inning, when Billy Wilson (Loyola Marymount) singled in Anthony Masseli (Boston College) from second base, giving Edenton a 1-0 lead. 

There would be no more scoring until the fifth inning when Edenton doubled their lead. With the bases loaded and one out, Billy Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Paul Rufo (Binghamton) to make it a 2-0 game. The inning was a win for the Tobs however, as Brett Morrison was able to get out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam with just one run allowed. 

In the sixth, the Tobs responded. After Austin Fisher (Santa Clara) singled up the middle to lead off the inning, and after the next two men were retired, Shane Shepard (NC State) came to the plate. The first baseman connected for his eighth home run of the year, a two-run shot to straightaway center field to tie the game at 2. Despite the blast, the Tobs weren't done.

After Shepard, Dawnoven Smith (NC A&T) walked to bring up Josh Ladowski (UNC). Ladowski then followed Shepard's two-run homer with a two-run shot of his own, a line drive over the right field wall, his second of the year, to give the Tobs a 4-2 lead. 

The next scoring came in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Edenton would plate three runs. With Jakob Ryan (George Mason) on the mound after he struck out left fielder James Battley (Illinois-Springfield) for the final out of the sixth, Anthony Maselli led the inning off with a solo home run to right that just got over the wall for Maselli's seventh of the season, a solo shot to make it a 4-3 Tobs lead. Two batters later, Edenton tied the score, when Billy Wilson hit a solo home run of his own, a no-doubter to right field to make it a 4-4 contest. After Ryan walked the next two hitters, he was lifted in favor of KJ McAllister (NC A&T). 

One more run came in after the pitching change, as pinch hitter Lucas Martinez (Cal-St. San Bernadino) reached on a broken-bat infield single to give Edenton a 5-4 lead. 

In the top of the eighth, Shane Shepard responded in a big way to continue his monster night. Shepard cracked his second home run of the game, his ninth of the year, to re-tie the game at 5-5 as the solo shot sailed over the right center field wall. The home run came off of Anthony Maselli, who had been moved from the DH spot to provide some emergency bullpen help.

Things went south for the Tobs in the bottom of the eighth inning. After getting the first two hitters to ground out, KJ McAllister was unable to record the final out of the inning, hitting a man, walking two, and hitting another, forcing in a run and giving Edenton the lead back at 6-5. Will Edwards (Chowan) was then brought in with the bases loaded and two outs. Edwards walked the first man he faced, forcing in another run and making it a 7-5 score. The next batter, Lucas Martinez, hit a grounder that glanced off the glove of Tobs third baseman Brady Lloyd. The ball trickled into left field, and two more runs scored on the error. The Tobs would however get the final out of the inning on the play, as Nick Kitzmann (UC-San Diego) threw out Tristan Carranza (New Mexico State) trying to take an extra base.

With a four-run lead, Steamers manager Dustin Coffman handed the ball to his closer Carmen Giampetruzzi (Boston College), who pitched a scoreless ninth to nail down the win for the Steamers and send the Tobs to 8-18 in the second half and 17-37 overall on the season.

Anthony Maselli was the winning pitcher (1-0) for the Steamers, and KJ McAllister (0-1) the loser for the Tobs.

The Tobs are off Saturday, and will be back in action Sunday against Wilmington at Historic Fleming Stadium, as the Tobs hold Fan and Host Family Appreciation Night as well as Bang For Your Buck Sunday from the ballpark, where first pitch is scheduled for 5pm.

The Wilson Tobs enter their 21st season as an original member within the Coastal Plain League for the 2017 summer. The upcoming season for the Tobs will see an expanded community outreach effort, increased participation in helping the less fortunate and more exciting entertainment for the Wilson Community. We would like to dedicate each successful season to the Wilson Community, Coastal Plain League Organization, Host Families, Sponsors Partners and the Dedicated Fans throughout the city of Wilson. The Wilson Tobs have played host to over 100 alumni taken in the draft and have produced a dozen players who have gone on to play in the MLB, including Cy Young & MVP winner Justin Verlander. For more information on the Wilson Tobs, visit our website www.wilsontobs.com.

 



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