Pilots Out-Slug Steamers

Updated June 09 2017

The Peninsula Pilots climbed back from an early five-run deficit to prevail over the Edenton Steamers 10-8 at Historic Hicks Field on Friday night.

Despite trailing by five runs after the first inning, the Pilots (8-1) maintained their composure and used home runs by Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) and Kieton Rivers (Coastal Carolina) to lead the comeback charge.

After a fly out to start the inning, seven straight Steamers reached base. James Battley (Illinois-Springfield) drew a one-out walk which set up Wilson’s two-run home to right-center for an early 2-0 lead. After an error, Anthony Maselli (Boston College) hit a two-run shot of his own to right-center to score two more. Later in the inning, a wild pitch allowed Tristen Carranza (New Mexico State) to score before Paul Hall Jr. (Virginia Tech) retired the final two batters to stop the bleeding.

From there, the Pilots chipped at the Steamers’ lead. Logan Augustine (Lincoln Memorial) reached on an one-out single to right field. After advancing into scoring position on a wild pitch and a groundout, Nathan Eaton (VMI) drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Griggs took a 2-0 pitch over the left-center field wall for his first home run of the season to cut the deficit to two.

After a three up, three down inning for the Steamers in the second inning, the Pilots continued to chip at the Steamers’ lead. Rivers led off the inning with a solo shot to center field. Back-to-back walks to Jack Owens (Virginia Tech) and Jonathan Embry (Liberty) set up Matt Schneider’s (Mercyhurst) RBI double to left-center to tie the game at five.

Hall delivered another perfect inning against the Steamers which allowed the Pilots to take the lead for the first time of the night. Singles by Griggs and Rivers kick started a rally for the Pilots. After a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, an error on the third baseman allowed Griggs to score for the go-ahead run. Another run-scoring hit by Schneider, this time a single, allowed Rivers to score for an early 7-5 lead.

Edenton (4-5) didn’t take long to respond as they used a two-run home run by Battley to tie the game up at seven apiece.

Peninsula’s bats stayed hot as they scored for the fourth straight inning to retake the lead. A leadoff walk by Chris Lehane (Jacksonville) and a single by Eaton set up another Pilots rally. After two strikeouts, an error scored two runs and prolonged the inning just enough for Owens to deliver a RBI single for a 10-7 lead.

A duo of Pilots, Kyle Hinton (Delaware) and Tad Ratliff (Lenoir-Rhyne), combined to keep the Steamers at bay for the duration of the game. Hinton tossed four innings of one-run ball and struck out four to pick up the win in his first appearance of the season. Ratliff secured his fourth save of the season with a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts.

Eric Freeman (Tennessee) took the loss for the Steamers after allowing four unearned runs in two innings of work.

The Pilots return to War Memorial Stadium on Saturday night as they host the Morehead City Marlins for Superhero Night! Be sure to wear your favorite superhero costume and come out early to the game to watch Challenger Little League play an exhibition game with the Pilots players at 5:30!

For more information regarding the season, please visit www.peninsulapilots.com. For up to the minute details on Pilots Baseball be sure to “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @PeninsulaPilots. Also, be sure to download the Peninsula Pilots mobile app available for both iPhone and Android users! Use the #PilotsNation to spread the word about the Pilots!

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 www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball..


Taylor Sherrill