By: Evan Rogers

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. — After falling behind early, the Holly Springs Salamanders (19-17) were trounced by the Wilmington Sharks (16-18), 13-1, Thursday night at Ting Stadium. 

Wilmington seized Holly Springs’ starting pitcher Caden Copeland (Louisiana Tech) early, drawing consecutive walks to start the game. Moments later, the Sharks drove home two runs after first baseman Mason Landers (Belmont) skipped a 2-RBI single through the middle of the infield. 

However, Wilmington’s offensive push was just beginning. In the same frame, second baseman Jordan Medina’s (Colorado Christian) double to the right-field corner stretched the Sharks’ lead to 4-0. 

Two innings later, the Salamanders’ hole widened. After designated hitter Wyatt Crenshaw (Colorado Christian) drew a one-out walk, Medina rocketed a three-run blast into the left field netting, increasing Wilmington’s advantage to 7-0.

In the bottom half of the same inning, the Salamanders cut into their deficit as center fielder Nathan Humphreys (Dallas Baptist) raced home following a wild pitch. 

Yet, Holly Springs’ momentum was short-lived. 

Center fielder Noah Bridges (UNCW) reignited Wilmington’s barrels, driving home a run with a double to left field. Shortly after, third baseman Taber Mongero (UNCW) smoked a 2-RBI double down the first-base line, giving the Sharks a 11-1 lead. 

In his final at-bat of the game, Medina showcased his power yet again, sailing a solo home run in the contest’s final inning. In seven innings, Wilmington mercy ruled the Salamanders, 13-1. 

On a night that featured little offensive spark from Holly Springs, Humphreys recorded the lone hit for the Salamanders — a knock that showcased the first-year from Dallas Baptist’s speed.

The Salamanders hit the road for a one-game away stand against the Morehead City Marlins. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.