by James Stanley, Wilson Tobs Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting
WILSON, N.C. – The Wilson Tobs (19-17, 9-7) kept their slim hopes of making the postseason alive Sunday night on a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Wilmington Sharks (18-18, 7-7) at Historic Fleming Stadium.
Smelling blood in the water, the Sharks attacked first to take a 1-0 lead off Tobs starting pitcher Hunter Hayes (Pacific) in the top of the 1st inning. Taber Mongero (UNC-Wilmington) delivered an RBI single for the score.
Wilmington’s lead was short-lived until the bottom of the 1st when Wilson tied the game 1-1. Dylan Scaranda (Barton College) hammered a ball 428 feet to dead centerfield on his team-leading 8th homerun of the season to pull the Tobs even with the Sharks.
The Sharks retook the lead in the top of the 3rd by a score of 2-1 on a solo homerun off the bat of John Behrends (Belmont) to right field.
Scaranda went back for second helpings off Wilmington starter Zack Brockman (Saint Louis) in the 3rd inning to tie the game 2-2 on a sacrifice fly that plated Brainy Rojas (East Stroudsburg).
In the 4th inning, the Sharks rocked Hayes for two runs on one hit and an error to take a 4-2 lead. Wilmington shortstop Andrew Ciufo (Georgetown) started the scoring by driving in his brother, Rich Ciufo (Richmond) on an RBI double. The next hitter, Chaz Bertolani (Lipscomb), laid down a sacrifice bunt in front of home plate to advance Andrew Ciufo to third base. However, Tobs catcher Garrett Browder (Davdison) committed a throwing error that allowed Bertolani to reach first base safely and Ciufo to score the fourth run of the night for the Sharks.
Blake Bennett (Jacksonville State) relieved Brockman on the mound in the bottom of the 4th and stifled the Tobs bats on wicked curveballs holding the two-run lead for Wilmington through the 7th inning. He allowed no runs on three hits in 4.0 innings pitched on five strikeouts.
Carlos Rey (Nova Southeastern) entered the game in relief for Wilson in the top of the 7th and pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in relief on five strikeouts.
In the bottom of the 8th, Wilson exploded on four runs to take a 6-4 lead. The inning started with Nate Nabholz (East Carolina) pitching in relief for Bennett, but Scaranda took Nabholz deep on a leadoff double. Drew DeVine (Western Michigan) followed by drawing a one-out walk and Riley Jepson (UT-Tyler) tied the game at four apiece by smacking a two-RBI double into right field. The Sharks went to the bullpen for a second time in the 8th and brought in Austin Skipper (William Peace) to face the bottom third of the Tobs order. Tommy Gibson (Shepherd) singled to load the bases and Browder struck out leaving the bases loaded for Rojas who delivered a clutch two-RBI single to left field giving the Tobs the lead.
Wilson closer Kolton Scherbenske (UNC-Charlotte) slammed the door in the 9th on two strikeouts to record his second save of the season securing the 6-4 win for the Tobs. He finished the night on 1.0 scoreless inning pitched.
Rey received the win while Nabholz took the loss in 0.1 innings pitched. Nabhols surrendered four runs on two hits, one walk and a hit-by-pitch.
The Tobs continue their homestand on Tuesday with a double header against the Tri-City Chili Peppers starting at 6:00 p.m. ET. Both games will run seven innings with game two starting 30 minutes after the completion of game one. Join the Tobs for All You Can Eat Tuesday at the Historic Fleming Stadium with gates opening at 5. 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.