by James Stanley, Wilson Tobs Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting
WILSON, N.C. – The Wilson Tobs (21-17, 11-7) swept a twin bill over the Tri-City Chili Peppers (7-32, 3-16) on Tuesday night at Historic Fleming Stadium taking game one 13-0 and game two 5-2. Both games were played to the completion of seven innings.
Wilson sent Braxton Bragg (Nebraska) to the mound to make his 5th start of the season and started the night on a 1-2-3 frame in the 1st.
Tri-City starting pitcher Nick Zegna (George Mason) surrendered two runs on four hits in the bottom of the 1st to put the Chili Peppers behind 2-0. With two outs, Riley Jepson (UT-Tyler) and Braedon Blackford (Purdue-Ft. Wayne) delivered back-to-back RBI singles that scored Dylan Scaranda (Barton College) and Drew DeVine (Western Michigan) for both of Wilson’s runs.
In the top half of the 3rd, Bragg recorded another three-up-three-down frame on one strikeout, bringing his Ks total to three on the evening.
With two outs in the bottom of the 3rd, Jepson doubled the Tobs lead to 4-0 on a two-run homerun to centerfield. Three batters later in the frame, Chase Wullenweber (Tusculum) extended Wilson’s lead to 5-0 by plating Blackford on an RBI single to left field.
Jepson tabbed his fourth RBI of the night in the 4th by drawing a one-out bases loaded walk to put the Tobs up 6-0. With the bases still loaded, Blackford followed by clearing the bags on a double into the right centerfield gap ballooning the Tobs lead to 9-0.
Wilson scored four more runs in the 5th inning to put the game out of reach 13-0. James Arakawa (Pacific) started the scoring by driving in Dusty Baker (Mount Olive) with an RBI on an error charged to Chili Peppers shortstop Tyler Dean (Virginia Tech). DeVine continued the scoring on his third hit of the night by plating Scranda on an RBI base hit. Arakawa scored the third run of the frame on a Jepson RBI single and Blackford finished the scoring by bringing in DeVine on a sacrifice fly. Through the first five innings in game one, Jepson and Blackford each had five RBIs.
Bragg started the 6th, but ran into trouble in the top of the order when Cade Swisher (Virginia Tech) and Willie Havens (Elon) hit back-to-back one-out base hits. To keep the shutout in-tact, the Tobs went to reliever Michael Yuille (Barton College). Yuille’s relief outing out rocky by issuing a walk to load the bases, but was stabilized by a 6-4-3 double play that got Wilson out of the jam.
Yuille finished game one by hanging a zero in the 7th inning en route to closing out the 13-0 win for the Tobs. In his final appearance for Wilson in the 2021, Yuille allowed pitched 1.2 shutout innings on one strikeout.
Bragg earned the win to improve to 3-1 as a starter in 2021. He struck out five batters in 5.1 innings pitched while giving up four hits and no walks.
Zegna took the loss for Tri-City in the first game pitching 3.0 innings and allowing five runs on six hits and one walk.
Blackford finished game one going 2-2 on a double and five RBIs.
In the second game, Derrick Carter (North Carolina Wesleyan) toed the rubber for the Tobs and started the night on three strikeouts in the 1st inning.
Arakawa energized the Tobs in the bottom of the 1st on a two-out base hit and later put Wilson in front 1-0 by scoring on a DeVine RBI single.
Carter ran out of gas after the 2nd and was relieved by Shane Rademacher (Chowan) in the 3rd. Rademacher started out slow by putting two base runners on via a walk and hit-by-pitch. Both runners scored on errors charged to Baker in centerfield and Griffin Everitt (Nebraska) behind the plate to give Tri-City its first lead of the night, 2-1. Rademacher was able to get himself out of the frame on three strikeouts.
Tobs reliever Marty Neal (Harford CC) pitched the top of the 4th inning and got help from his defense when Arakawa, playing left field in game two, lasered a ball to home plate to throw out Jarvis to end the frame.
Wilson re-took the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the 4th by scoring two runs. Cam Jackson (North Carolina A&T) drove in Blackford on an RBI double to knot the game 2-2 and Scaranda gave the Tobs a one-run lead by drawing a bases loaded RBI walk.
Neal quieted Tri-City’s bats in the top of the 5th by recording a 1-2-3 frame on a pair of strikeouts.
Justin Guidos (East Stroudsburg) relieved Neal to start the 6th and struck out the side to keep the Chili Peppers in a 3-2 hole.
The Tobs added two insurance runs in the bottom of the 6th to extend their lead to 5-2. The scoring started on a wild pitch dealt by Tri-City reliever Julian Erro (Colby College) that allowed Tommy Gibson (Shepherd) to score. Scaranda capped off the night’s scoring with an RBI single that plated Baker from third base.
Guidos struck out Havens to secure the save in the 7th and finish off the Chili Peppers 5-2. He pitched 2.0 shutout innings in relief on four strikeouts en route to picking up his second save of the season.
The win went to Neal who gave the Tobs 2.0 scoreless innings in relief work on three strikeouts. He allowed one walk and no hits.
Pond took the loss by surrendering three runs on six hits in 5.0 innings pitched. He struck out six while putting five runners on base via walks and hit-by-pitches.
The Tobs swept Coastal Plain League Line of the Night Honors with Jepson taking the offensive award by going 3-3 on a homerun and five RBIs in the first game. Bragg received the pitching award after his 5.1 shutout innings pitched in game one on five strikeouts.
Wilson’s hope at an outside shot of making the 2021 Coastal Plain League playoffs was shattered by a 5-3 win by the Morehead City Marlins over the Wilmington Sharks at Big Rock Stadium on the same night.
Thursday night marks the final chance to enjoy Tobs baseball on a Thirsty Thursday at Historic Fleming Stadium during the 2021 season. Come out to the ballpark for $1 select draft beer as well as beer and drink specials all night long as the Tobs battle their division rival the Peninsula Pilots in a double header starting at 6:00 p.m. ET. Gates open at 5:30 with two seven-inning games on tap. Game two will start 30 minutes after the completion of game one. Join the Tobs for Wilson Chamber and Whirligig Night presented by Wilson Tourism Authority and Truist Bank. Arrive early to the ballpark for free Whirligig giveaways. Chamber members can purchase $2 pre-ordered tickets by calling the front office at (252) 291-8627. Non-chamber members can purchase tickets by clicking here.
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 at noon on Saturday for the 2021 Tobs Cornhole Tournament and stay for Fan Appreciation Night presented by EmergeOrtho. 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.