MOREHEAD CITY, NC July 28, 2014 – The Marlins lost their second straight game Sunday—a 19-8 defeat at the hands of the Columbia Blowfish in a game that featured five home runs, five hit by pitches, a position player pitching, and relief pitchers batting.
The Blowfish scored nine times in the eighth inning off relievers Scott Edge and Michael Barber, which made it a 17-5 game at the time. In that inning, Julian Santos left the yard with a grand slam to right field, his second home run of the day.
Santos had not homered yet this season, but finished the night 2-for-4 with two home runs, five RBI, five runs scored and two walks.
Erik Barber also went deep in the game for Columbia, launching a solo shot off starter Griffin Weir back in the first inning. It was his third home run of the season.
Every Blowfish starter a run in the ballgame, and six of them scored multiple runs. The 20 hits and 19 runs the Marlins allowed were both season-highs, and Columbia scored in every inning except the fifth and seventh. In three separate innings they sent at least eight men to the plate, including 14 batters in the eighth inning.
The only Marlins’ pitcher to not yield a run was Johnny Caputo, who was making his first appearance on the hill since his sophomore year of high school. He hit the first batter he faced and struck out pitcher Chris Falwell (who had pitched to him the inning before) to end the top of the ninth.
A big positive in the game for Morehead City was the continued success of Alex Torres, who went 2-for-4 with two home runs, three RBI and a walk. Torres now has three homers in his last two games, and has 10 RBI and seven extra base hits in his first six games for Morehead City.
“He is our first legitimate three-hole hitter,” said head coach Sam Carel. “For him to come in and do what he has done right away speaks volumes about his skill set.”
“I feel good at the plate right now,” Torres said. “I try to stay as patient as I can, just look for the right pitch right and not try to do to much. I am just being comfortable and having fun. It’s not about going up and being tight, just being loose at the plate. I’m Just trying to put the team on top and give the fans a little show at the same time.”
Trent Leimkuehler added a two-run triple in what was is last game of the season, giving him the Marlins’ record for three-base hits in a single season with four. Matt Simmons added two singles and two RBI, while Manny Pazos reached base three times with a single and two walks.
The game took three hours and 34 minutes to play, making it the longest game of the season for Morehead City—20 minutes longer then Saturday’s affair with the Martinsville Mustangs.
Morehead City will travel to Wilson on Monday to take on the Tobs at 7:05 before coming home for a doubleheader against Fayetteville following Tuesday’s off day.
“We have had four straight winning weeks,” Carel said. “We are going into the last week of the year with great opportunity to make a postseason run and starting tomorrow begins that final week.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,100 alumni drafted and 71 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (@CPLBaseball).