By: Evan Rogers

HOLLY SPRINGS N.C. — In a tightly contested game, the Holly Springs Salamanders (11-8) fell to the Wilmington Sharks (8-13), 2-1, Wednesday night at Ting Stadium. 

In short time, the Sharks put early pressure on the Salamanders with base runners on first and third base with one out. But, catcher Robert Brook’s successful pitch-out sparked two straight outs for Holly Springs to get the Salamanders out of the jam.

In the bottom of the third inning, left fielder Nate Carriere came up to bat looking to break the standstill. And, his rocket to left field looked to do just that, but his hit came up short from passing the outfield wall, keeping Holly Springs off the board.

One inning later, the Salamanders looked to be on the cusp of scoring again. The scoring push was ignited when right fielder Will Stewart laced a triple that zoomed past the outstretched glove of Wilmington second baseman AJ Mendolia. Moments later, shortstop Luke Heefner appeared to have a two-run blast, but right fielder Wyatt Crenshaw robbed the potential home run to keep the game scoreless. 

Following two more innings of scoreless action, the Salamanders broke the standstill. After second baseman Joey Berini smashed a triple off the right-field wall, Carriere drove him home with a double that twisted down the first-base line. 

But the lead was short lived for Holly Springs. In the next two offensive frames for Wilmington, two runs were plated, leading the Sharks to a 2-1 win. 

On the mound, pitcher Luke Green impressed, going five and two thirds while only surrendering one earned run. Moreover, Carriere flashed his power and timeliness at the plate, as the junior from Lamar was feet away from having his first home run of the season.

Holly Springs returns to Ting Stadium to take on the South Wake Shakes on Thursday. First pitch for the exhibition contest is set for 7:00 p.m.