By: Evan Rogers

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. — En route to snapping its three-game losing skid, the Holly Springs Salamanders (20-18) knocked off the Peninsula Pilots (16-21), 9-6, Saturday night at Ting Stadium. 

After giving up one run to the Pilots in the initial frame, Holly Springs’ offense went to work. Shortstop Gavin Troutman (Lock Haven) was driven home by first baseman Ryan Clifford (Vanderbilt), who zipped an RBI groundout to tie the game up.

Peninsula responded to the Salamanders’ early response, as Harrison Povey (Florida Gulf Coast) launched a solo bomb to help the Pilots regain the lead. 

However, Peninsula’s advantage was short-lived. In the bottom of the second inning, Troutman lifted a 2-RBI triple into the right-field gap to award Holly Springs its first lead of the game, 3-2. 

In the Salamanders’ next offensive frame, madness unleashed. A dropped third strike proved costly for the Pilots as an error later in the same sequence plated Holly Springs’ fifth run of the night.

Shortly after, the already grim frame turned for the worse for the Pilots. In the succeeding at-bat, third baseman Jack Oberdorf (Seton Hill) blistered his first home run of the season — a two-run blast that gave the Salamanders a six-run advantage. 

Holly Springs’ five-run frame in the third inning paved the way for the Salamanders, who used their early offensive burst to coast to victory. Despite a ninth inning rally by Peninsula, the Pilots came up short and were defeated, 9-6. 

With the win, the Salamanders snap a three-game slump and move closer to a .500 record in the season’s second half. Moreover, Troutman flashed his explosive barrel in the lead-off spot, cannoning a pivotal triple in his second at-bat. 

Holly Springs will round out the weekend at Ting Stadium against the Savannah Bananas. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m.