Tuesday night was battle of the bullpens between Wilmington (3-3) and Holly Springs (1-4). Brandon Justice for the Sharks and Kyle Davis for the Salamanders were both magnificent as each worked more than three innings in relief.
At one point, the Sharks junior from Elon University, Brandon Justice, struck out eight straight batters. Justice finished four complete innings, allowing just one hit and no runs to go along with 10 strikeouts.
The scoring started the exact same way it did the first time these two squads met. Danny Wondrack clobbered a solo homer to lead of the second and give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
Holly Springs answered though with two runs on three hits off Sharks starter Bryce Cota in the bottom of the third.
The Wilmington bats picked up again in the fourth as a couple of UNC-Asheville Bulldogs knocked in a pair of runs for the Sharks to retake a one run lead. Joe Gruszka singled home a run followed by an RBI double down the left field line by Dan Wilson.
The Sharks then held the lead all the way to the bottom of the ninth on the back of Brandon Justice's 10 punch-outs. In the ninth, Keith Gabrielson worked himself in to trouble with a one run lead. With one out, Holly Springs loaded the bases with the winning run at second base. Tyler Jackson then headed to the bullpen for the Sharks and brought out Sam Luchansky (2-0). On his second pitch, Luchansky induced a double play ground ball but the Sharks only got the out at second and the game was tied and headed to extras.
In the 10th, under new international rules each team starts with runners on first and second with no outs and the Sharks took advantage. With one out, Alec Allred knocked a double into the left center gap to score two runs. Later in the inning, Ben Anderson reached on a single that allowed Allred to score as the first baseman bobbled the throw.
In the bottom of the half inning, Sam Luchansky cleaned up shop for Wilmington and the Sharks won on the road 6-3 for the first road win of the season.
Sam Luchansky picked up the win working 1.2 scoreless innings. Matthew Marsili (0-1) earned the loss for the Salamanders.
The Sharks and Salamanders meet again tomorrow evening back at the Shark Tank. It's Thirsty Thursday tomorrow in Wilmington! Get your tickets by calling 910-343-5621 or online at www.wilmingtonsharks.com. First pitch is set for 7:05, but if you cannot make it to the game watch on the Coastal Plain League website under the watch tab. The Sharks Pregame Show begins Thursday evening at 6:50.
About The Wilmington Sharks
Set in the picturesque Cape Fear region of North Carolina, the Wilmington Sharks are one of the charter members of the Coastal Plain League. Providing affordable family entertainment in a minor league atmosphere, the Sharks have been consistently in the top 25 in attendance in all of summer-collegiate baseball.
About The Coastal Plain League
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 22nd season in 2018, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 109 of those - including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor – make their Major League debut. While another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball.