WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Marlins fell in a rain-delayed matchup to the Wilmington Sharks, 9-4, tying the first round of the Petitt Cup Playoffs 1-1 on Monday night. They managed to play through the first five and a half innings before a storm arrived, suspending play until after midnight. Noah Covington (Maryland Eastern Shore) started for the Marlins, while Brycen Jewell started for the Sharks.
Morehead City got on the scoreboard in the first inning. McGwire Tuffy (George Washington) walked, Will Walsh (Nebraska) singled, and Damaurys Rodriguez (Rollins College) hit a single to right field, scoring Tuffy and giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead.
The Sharks responded in the bottom of the second inning. Ethan Wilder singled to right, Cam Hassert walked, and a Dylan Jeffries groundout advanced both runners. Wilder scored on a wild pitch, and Drew Sturgeon’s infield single brought Hassert home, giving the Sharks a 3-1 lead.
The Marlins scored three runs in the top of the third. Brycen Jewell, the Sharks’ pitcher, walked both Walsh and Rodriguez. Landon Choboy (Mount Olive) singled to load the bases. Zach Marriott (Hendrix College) singled to score Walsh, and an errant throw by Hassert allowed Rodriguez to score, tying the game at 3-3.
Wilmington regained the lead in the bottom of the third by scoring two runs. Nowak hit an infield single, stole second, and advanced to third on a Wilder groundout. Hassert walked, stole second, and both runners were in scoring position. Jeffries hit a single to center field, scoring both runners and giving the Sharks a 5-3 lead.
The fourth inning was scoreless for both teams. The next runs came in the bottom of the fifth, where the Sharks added four runs. Cam Burgess led off with a single to left field, followed by Wilder’s single to right. Hassert’s infield single loaded the bases. Jeffries hit a base hit to score Burgess and Wilder. The Marlins then replaced pitcher Brycen Jewell with Jarrett Hall (William Peace University). Sturgeon grounded out to Hall, and a wild pitch brought Hassert home. Back-to-back walks for AJ Mendolia and Nowak resulted in Jeffries scoring, extending the Sharks’ lead to 9-3.
The Marlins managed to add a run in the top of the sixth to stay in the game. Dylan Rogers (Jacksonville State) led off with a single to right field, but was eliminated on a fielder’s choice when Bobby Whalen (Virginia) grounded out. Whalen advanced to second on an errant throw by Hassert. Whalen then scored on a base hit by Trent Youngblood (Transylvania), making the score 9-4, where it remained for the rest of the game.
Rain arrived in the middle of the sixth inning, leading to the tarp being brought out. Play didn’t resume until after midnight.
Both teams struggled to generate offense for the remainder of the game due to outstanding pitching. Tyler DeLuzio (Lenoir CC) pitched the final three innings for the Marlins, striking out four Sharks batters. On the other side, Ried Dittner pitched the final three innings, striking out three Marlins batters.
The Marlins’ 9-4 loss in Wilmington tied the first round of the Petitt Cup Playoff series at 1-1. Morehead City is scheduled to face Wilmington for game three at Big Rock Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 7 PM.