Back-and-Forth Game Favors Forest City

Updated July 12 2017

The Owls returned from the all-star break on Wednesday afternoon for a noon game against the Gastonia Grizzlies (18-15, 1-4).

Forest City (23-10, 4-2) wasted no time, jumping on Gastonia starting pitcher Nash Jamison in the 1st inning. AJ Wright (UMBC) launched a homerun to left (1) to put the Owls on top 1-0.

On the mound, Forest City looked to Charlie Ruegger (Stevens Institute). Ruegger coasted through the first three innings, but ran into trouble later in his outing.

In the 4th, the Grizzlies tied the game on an RBI single by Chaz Davey (Erskine) to bring in Ryan Cox (Kutztown).

In the bottom half of the inning, the Owls took their largest lead of the afternoon, putting up three runs in the frame. First, Chris Chatfield (South Florida) scored on an error by Gastonia catcher Harris Yett (UNC Charlotte) to put the Owls back on top.

Moments later, Andrew Friedholm (UNC-Asheville) singled in a pair on a two RBI single that made it 4-1.

In the 5th, the Grizzlies added another to make it 4-2 on an RBI single by Luke Setzer (Catawba).

In the 6th, Ruegger remained in the game as Gastonia tied the contest at 4-4. It was Davey who hit a two-run homerun (2) to left field. Davey went 4-4 with two singles, a double, a homerun and four RBI’s.

The Grizzlies took their first lead of the game in the 7th on an RBI triple by Davey to make it 5-4.

In the 8th, Forest City put Justin Whitely (Montevallo) into the game on the mound with the Owls trailing 5-4.

After sending down the Grizzlies in order in the top half of the inning, Forest City came to the plate in the bottom half of the stanza.

The Owls managed two runs in the inning without recording a hit. Gastonia pitcher Nicolas Goodman (UNC Greensboro) walked the bases loaded to start the inning. Two batters later, relief pitcher Josh Maciejewski (UNC Charlotte) threw a wild pitch that brought in Carson Jones (Lander) to score.

Next, Friedholm hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to score Chatfield from third to put Forest City back on top 6-5.

Whitley came back out in the 9th to shut the door. A lead off base hit was followed by a 4-6-3 double play. Next, Yett flew out to right to end the game, giving the Owls a thrilling 6-5 victory over their closest CPL rival, the Gastonia Grizzlies.

“We got off to that good start, and they got back into it and kept battling,” Owls head coach Matt Reed said. “For me, everyone for the most part played well.”

Forest City returns to action tomorrow as they take on the High Point-Thomasville HiToms at McNair Field at 7:05 p.m. As always, you can catch all the action live on the Forest City Owls Radio Network or on WCAB 590AM in Forest City and the surrounding area.

To find out more about 2017 Owls Season Tickets, please contact the Owls Office at 828-245-0000 or visit the website at

The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 22nd season in 2018, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 111 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 and follow us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball..


Zachary Penrice