Pilots Win Season Opener in Extra Innings

Updated May 30 2017

The Peninsula Pilots kicked off the 2017 summer with a 7-6 extra inning victory over the Wilson Tobs on Tuesday night at Historic Fleming Stadium.

In a back and forth affair on Opening Night throughout the Coastal Plain League, the Pilots had the lead four different times before Jack Owens’ (Virginia Tech) single in the 11th inning scored Jonathan Embry (Liberty) to propel the Pilots over the Tobs. Tyler Garbee (Pittsburgh) worked around a runner in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the victory. Tad Ratliff (Lenoir-Rhyne) took the first win of the summer.

Peninsula (1-0) plated a run in their first at-bats after Owens and Drake McNamara (Southern Indiana) drew two-out walks and successfully attempted a double steal attempt with an error allowing the first run of the game to score.

Wilson (0-1) wasted no time in responding by scoring a run on a wild pitch in the bottom half of the inning.

The Pilots immediately retook the lead in the second inning. Singles by Matt Schneider (Mercyhurst) and Grant Maiorana (Virginia Tech) sandwiched a walk by Jack Morris (Liberty) to load the bases. After a strikeout, Embry put the Pilots on top with a two-run single to right field.

The Tobs used solo home runs by Nick Stotler and Tanner Johnson (Denison) in the second inning to knot it at three apiece.

Scoring in the third consecutive inning, the Pilots used a RBI single by Schneider to score Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) to retake the lead.

A RBI single by Jacob Williamson (Navy) and a Pilots miscue in the fourth inning allowed Wilson to take their first lead of the game.

In the fifth inning, the Pilots benefited from three hit by pitches to set up Morris to score on a wild pitch tie the game at five at the halfway point.

After trading zeroes, the Pilots took the lead for the fourth time of the night in the eighth inning with Morris drawing a walk with the bases loaded to take the lead.

Wilson tied it up in the ninth inning with a run scoring on a wild pitch to force extra innings.

In the 11th inning, Embry drew a one-out walk before moving to second on an infield single by Drew Delsignore (Mercyhurst). Owens put the Pilots ahead for the fifth and final time of the night with a single to center field to score Embry.

Left-hander Braun Miller (Malone) got the call on the mound in the season opener. He pitched three solid innings, giving up three runs and striking out two. Nolan Flachofsky (Lenoir-Rhyne) followed with two innings in relief and gave up two runs (one earned) and striking out four. Collin Liberatore (Pittsburgh) struck out five in 3 1/3 innings before Ratliff and Garbee followed to preserve the win.

Peninsula had four players who recorded multi-hit games, including McNamara, who went 3-for-6 at the plate. Embry, Delsignore, and Schneider each posted two hits for the Pilots, who left 18 runners on base.

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. 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