Five-run Fifth Inning Costs RedWolves in 8-6 Loss to Fayetteville

Updated July 20 2017

Cornell Nixon and Clay Casey pick up a multi-hit performance in loss to the SwampDogs. A five-run fifth inning, to include a grand slam from Fayetteville’s Jose Rojas costs Florence as the RedWolves drop the contest 8-6 in The Swamp on Wednesday night.

Florence (20-17, 6-5) and Fayetteville (25-16, 7-6) exchanged blows in the first inning with each team scoring a run.

The RedWolves, with the help of SwampDogs shortstop Matt Morrow, scored a run on a fielding error. With one out, Cornell Nixon singled to right. After a strikeout, Clay Casey roped a single of his own to right and runners were in scoring position after the throw in from the outfield. Tanner Mann-Fix stood in and was able to reach base safely after Morrow wasn’t able to handle the ball cleanly at short. Nixon was able to score on the play to take a 1-0 lead.

Fayetteville bit right back scoring the tying run in the bottom half of the first inning on an RBI infield single from Andrew Henrickson. Jay Robinson led the inning off with a double to left, with two outs Jayson Newman and Justin Hawkins reached on back-to-back walks. Henrickson then hit a high chopper to the left side, but it sat in the high infield grass leaving no play for Nixon at short, tying the game 1-1.

Florence regained the lead in their half of the third from a two-run shot by Casey to put the RedWolves on top, 3-1. Zach Jacobs worked a two-out walk before Casey unloaded on his first home run of the summer, driving the ball to the opposite field to take the lead.

The RedWolves scored two more runs in the top of the fourth inning to increase their lead to 5-1. Riley King was hit by a pitch to open the frame and was moved to third after a one-out double to right field from Jim Wagner. RedWolves starting pitcher Jack Piekos (3-3) helped himself sending a sacrifice fly to right field scoring King. On the next pitch, Wagner scored on a wild pitch.

It was all Fayetteville from that point on. The SwampDogs took the lead from Florence in the bottom of the fifth inning scoring five runs to include four off the bat of Jose Rojas. Jameel Edney led off the inning with a double. With one out Newman drew a walk along with Hawkins. The first run of the inning was pushed across by Henrickson who hit a sacrifice fly to left. Jonathan Allen then beat out an infield single to load the bases.

The RedWolves turned to the bullpen for newcomer John Wesley Ray, who faced Rojas in his first batter. Rojas hit the first pitch he saw and hit a grand slam to right-center field giving the SwampDogs a 7-5 lead.

Fayetteville scored an eighth run in the sixth after three straight walks and a RBI double from Hawkins to make it 8-5.

Florence did pick up a lone run in the eighth inning off of a Riley King double down the left field line. With one out Jacobs reached on his second walk of the game followed by a single up the middle from Casey. King stepped in and cranked the double to make it an 8-6 game.

SwampDogs pitching, despite relenting six runs, carved the RedWolves hitters recording 15 strikeouts on the night. Griffin McLarty (6-0) got the win of off his sixth start (5.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). Evan Flohr and Zach Neff entered out of the bullpen to pick up nine more strikeouts before the conclusion of the game.

Florence will take the show on the road to Savannah on Thursday, July 20th. The RedWolves will return home on Friday, July 21st for Outdoor Night. Come celebrate all activities you can do outside. Join us for the Pepsi Game of the Week, Lil D’s Dugout American Grill BBQ Friday and Fill the Kayak Friday presented by River Rats Kayaking. Visit for more information and tickets.

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..


Audie Wise