FLORENCE, SC June 9, 2014 – The Morehead City Marlins gave up a 3-1 lead on Monday, as the Florence RedWolves exploded for eight runs in the fifth and sixth innings to send the Marlins to their fourth straight loss.
The RedWolves scored five runs in the fifth, and another three in the sixth to come roaring back from an early deficit. They finished the game with 10 runs on 12 hits as they rolled to their second straight win.
Marlins starter Sam Mersing, who worked his way out of danger for the first four innings, was not able to limit damage in the fifth. Mersing allowed a hit, walk and hit a batter to load the bases with one out before exiting the game in favor of reliever Matt Tindall. Tindall promptly gave up a two-run single to Garret Chapman, followed by a walk, a strikeout and then two more singles. Florence sent 11 batters to the plate and scored five runs in the inning before all was said and done.
Three of those runs were charged to Mersing, who allowed four runs in total on six hits while walking three and striking out eight batters.
“Mersing tired a little bit, but we wanted him to go a little bit further, said pitching coach Aaron Meade. “Stuff started get all over the zone on him a little bit. You have to find a way to get out of it. That is the biggest thing about baseball, finding a way to eliminate the big inning.”
The other two runs in the inning were charged to Tindall—the first runs Tindall has allowed in his last three appearances.
“You are not going to be perfect all the time. The guy has been great for us so far, so you can’t hold that against him,” Meade said.
Denis Buckley, who came on for the final out of that fifth inning, stayed in for the sixth, and walked two while allowing two singles and a stolen base as the RedWolves score three more times to break the game open. For Buckley, the runs ended a team-high 7.1 inning scoreless streak.
“Preserving leads is the biggest thing I preach to them,” Meade said. “We’ve been throwing the ball well, but when you get a lead, whether it is one run, two runs, that should win us the game right there. We have to find a way to hold it.”
Offensively, Morehead City did enough to win the game. They came through with timely hits and got production from up and down the lineup as they scored four times and rapped out 11 hits—two of which went for extra bases. Five different players had hits in the game, and four of those had multi-hit games.
The Marlins’ most productive inning came in the fourth. Nick Lombardi and Johnny Caputo both singled to put runners on the corners with nobody out for Matt Simmons, who was hitting .321 entering play. Simmons roped an 0-2 fastball into right field, giving the Marlins a 2-1 lead. Caputo then went to third on Quincy Nieporte’s fly ball to center, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Garret McKinzie, who leads the team with six RBI.
The red-hot Simmons gave the Marlins their fourth run of the game in the sixth, when he hammered a double to left, scoring Caputo. Simmons now has four multi-hit games, which is most on the team. He also has a four-game hit streak and a team-high three doubles.
“He is squaring the ball up, going to all fields,” head coach Sam Carel said.
Caputo also had a solid day at the dish, singling in his first three at bats, and scoring twice. He finished the day 3-for-4 with a walk. Tyler Burden recorded a triple, single and scored a run in four at bats.
The Marlins will play their fourth of five straight road games on Tuesday evening against the Columbia Blowfish at 7:05.
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