HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C.
The Holly Springs Salamanders dropped a close contest to the Peninsula Pilots on Friday night by a score of 4-3 at the North Main Athletic Complex.
Jake Isbell (Freshman, Pitt Community College) started the game on the mound for the Salamanders, sprinkling three runs and seven hits over 6.2 innings. Ryan Lefner (Sophomore, Saint Louis) finished the game out of the bullpen.
Both teams’ bats woke up in the third inning. After the Pilots plated two runs in the top half, Austin LaFollette (Redshirt-Freshman, UNCW) singled for the Salamanders with one out. Josh Hollander (Sophomore, Kent State) delivered an RBI double to the left field gap that drove home LaFollette and cut the deficit in half.
In the top of the fifth, Jack Morris (Sophomore, Liberty) hit a solo homer to extend Peninsula’s lead. Still trailing 3-1 in the eighth, Peyton Isaacson (Sophomore, Coastal Carolina) crushed a solo shot of his own over the right field fence to bring Holly Springs back within a run.
A sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth added what would prove to be a valuable insurance run for the Pilots. In the bottom half, Dalton Hoiles (Junior, Shippensburg) hit a solo homer to bring the Salamanders within one run. The Salamanders threatened to grab a walk-off win by putting runners on first and second base, but could not push any more runs across the plate.
The Salamanders will trek to Edenton on Saturday to take on the Steamers before returning home on Sunday to face the Morehead City Marlins. First pitch on Sunday, which is Military Appreciation Night, is scheduled for 5:40 p.m.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 19th season in 2015, the CPL features 15 teams playing in 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. The CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 79 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – 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 Twitter @CPLBaseball.