Sharks Rally Late, Win Third Straight
After six complete innings, Fayetteville’s Rayne Raven was walking off Buck Hardee Field into the first base dugout after striking out his 9th batter of the night. The score at the time was 4-0 in favor of his SwampDogs, and Wilmington looked dead in the water. The Sharks were still hitless in the ballgame, and had only put three runners on base.
Raven struck out Nathan Becker to start the 7th, bringing up Sam Foy to the plate. Foy was able to bust open Raven’s no-hitter with a hit up the middle – this was Raven’s second potential no-hitter of the season. Foy was driven home for their first run by Justin Bellinger, a ball that was six inches away from a homerun to left field. Rayne Raven’s evening was over after the 7th, for a final line of ten strikeouts, giving up two hits, walking two, and surrendering just one run.
The Sharks weren’t satisfied with just one run, however. In the bottom of the 8th, Ben Dartnell plucked Steven Linkous, putting him aboard with just 1 out. Linkous advanced to third on a Joe DeVito double. Nate Moorhouse approached the plate in a 4-1 ballgame, and was able to rip the second pitch he saw into right field for a double, clearing the bases and shortening the defecit to just one run.
The next batter, Nathan Becker, knocked the ball into left field, scoring Moorhouse from second, advancing to second on the throw home, bringing up Sam Foy. Foy’s second hit of the ballgame was up the middle, moving Becker to third, awaiting Justin Bellinger.
Bellinger was facing a 0-1 count from the right-handed Deshorn Lake, and swung at a high fastball. The swing of his bat distorted the catcher’s eyesight just enough causing the ball to pass to the backstop, allowing Becker to score from third base for the go-ahead run.
An amazing finish to a ballgame that looked to be a certain loss for the home team Sharks. The SwampDogs will be back for a rematch at The Shark Tank on Thursday evening.
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