by James Stanley, Wilson Tobs Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting
WILSON, N.C. – The Wilson Tobs (22-18, 12-8) and Peninsula Pilots (31-11, 14-6) split a doubleheader on Thursday night at Historic Fleming Stadium.
Peninsula took game one 6-4 while Wilson won the second game 5-4 with both games running seven innings.
Tobs starting pitcher Peter Schaefer (Johns Hopkins) got off to a slow start in the top of the 1st by giving up a bases loaded hit-by-pitch and a bases loaded walk to allow the Pilots to take a 2-0 lead.
Peninsula starter Robert Cook (Virginia Wesleyan) got off to a better start than his counterpart by pitching scoreless frames in the 1st and 2nd. However, Michael Falco (St. Joseph’s) relieved Cook to start the bottom of the 3rd and recorded a 1-2-3 inning on three pop-flies.
With two outs in the 4th inning, Peninsula shortstop Jack Dragum (North Carolina) doubled the Pilots lead to 4-0 by driving in Zach Lass (Richmond) and Zachary Morris (Virginia Military Institute) on a two RBI double off Schaefer. Forcing Wilson to go to the bullpen, the Tobs brought in Marty Neal (Harford CC) to record the final out of the frame, Trey Morgan (Virginia Military Institute), to pop out in foul territory.
The Pilots plated two more runs in the top of the 5th to extend their lead to 6-0. Brock Gagliardi (Old Dominion) started the scoring by blasting a solo homerun to right field and Morris capped off the scoring by driving in Trevon Dabney (James Madison) on an RBI double.
Wilson got on the board to trail 6-1 in the bottom of the 5th when Riley Jepson (UT-Tyler) drove a leadoff homerun 385 feet deep to left-centerfield off Peninsula reliever Luke Zimmerman (St. Joseph’s).
Trailing by five runs into the bottom of the 7th, the Tobs attempted a comeback off Peninsula reliever Alden Mathes (Richmond). Drew DeVine (Western Michigan) led off the frame with a base hit and was followed by consecutive walks drawn by Jepson and Braedon Blackford (Purdue-Ft. Wayne) to load the bases. The next hitter, Logan Eickhoff (Eastern Illinois), plated DeVine on a sacrifice fly to cut the Pilots lead down to four runs. Garrett Browder (Davidson) followed with a base hit to reload the bases and was then substituted by Tommy Gibson (Shepherd) as a pinch runner. Next up was Brainy Rojas (East Stroudsburg) who laced a two-RBI single to left field energizing the Tobs bats into the waning moments of game one and cutting the Pilots lead down to 6-4. However, Wilson’s momentum was short-lived when Mathes ended the game by recording back-to-back outs on a pickoff of Gibson at second base and a strikeout of Dusty Baker (Mount Olive) to end the front end of the doubleheader.
Falco received the win on 1.0 scoreless inning pitched while Schaefer took the loss in his final start of the season. Schaefer struck out four batters in 3.2 innings of work, but surrendered four runs on four hits, three walks and three hit-by-pitches.
The relief outing ended for Neal on 3.1 innings pitched. He recorded five strikeouts and allowed two runs on two hits.
Zimmerman pitched 2.0 innings in relief. He gave up one run on one hit and two strikeouts.
Mathes went 1.0 inning on the mound allowing three runs, all earned, on three hits and two walks while closing out the 6-4 victory for Peninsula in game one.
Game two started with a bang for the Tobs as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Pilots. Dylan Scaranda (Barton College) gave Wilson its first run on a one-out homerun to right field off Pilots starting pitcher Casey Bargo (Ball State). However, Bargo’s night ended after he was ejected from the game for beaning Griffin Everitt (Nebraska) in the head with a fastball on the first pitch of the next plate appearance. Peninsula brought in Daniel Cole (Lamar) in relief to finish the inning, but gave up the second run on an RBI groundout off the bat of Jepson.
The Pilots tied the game 2-2 in the top of the 2nd on a two-run Morgan big fly hit off of Wilson starter Dylan Pottgieser (Pacific).
Carlos Rey (Nova Southeastern) relieved Pottgieser to start the top of the 3rd and pitched a clean inning by fanning two batters on strikes.
In the bottom of the 3rd, the Tobs went back in front 4-2 when Pilots reliever Joseph Buckendorff (Lamar) gave up two runs on one hit, two walks and an error. The scoring started when DeVine put a ball in play that was bobbled by Morris at second base allowing Scaranda to score on the error. Jepson followed by plating the second run on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Wilson added an insurance run in the 5th to extend its lead to 5-2 when Blackford took Peninsula relief pitcher Trip Breen III (St. Bonaventure) deep on an RBI double that plated Jepson from second base.
The Pilots responded with a two-run top of the 6th off Justin Guidos (East Stroudsburg) who started the frame in relief and gave up a two-run homerun to Dragum putting Peninsula behind 5-4.
In the 7th, Kolton Scherbenske (UNC-Charlotte) slammed the door to record the save on a pair of strikeouts. He finished the night securing the 5-4 win for the Tobs in game two in 1.0 perfect inning pitched.
Rey earned the win in 3.0 hitless and scoreless innings pitched in the second game. He allowed one base runner on a walk while retiring six Pilots on strikeouts.
The game two loss went to Buckendorff who gave up two runs on one hit and two walks.
Guidos’ outing ended after 1.0 inning of work in relief. He allowed two runs on two hits with one strikeout recorded.
On Friday, the Tobs head to Hampton, Virginia to finish up their regular season road slate at 7:00 p.m. ET against the Peninsula Pilots. When the Tobs play on the road, stream their games FloBaseball.TV or listen to free radio coverage on Mixlr by clicking here.
The Tobs wrap up the 2021 season at Historic Fleming Stadium on Saturday, July 31 against the Tri-City Chili Peppers at 7:00 p.m. ET. Come out to the ballpark for Fan Appreciation Night presented by EmergeOrtho and Bojangles. Gates open at 6, so arrive early to enjoy $2 hotdogs, $2 burgers, $2 snocones, $2 fountain drinks as well as $2 and $3 select draft beer. Fans can stream the game on FloBaseball.TV or watch locally for free on Greenlight Channels 2 and 900-HD.
The Wilson Tobs enter their 25th season as a founding member of the Coastal Plain League. The upcoming season for the Tobs will see community outreach, increased participation in helping the less fortunate, a Pettit Cup Championship team, and more exciting entertainment than ever before. We would like to dedicate each successful season to the Wilson Community, Coastal Plain League Organization, Host Families, Corporate Partners, and the Dedicated Fans.
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.