Rain Halts Comeback Effort, Tobs Fall Short

Updated July 23 2017

The Edenton Steamers remained perfect against the Wilson Tobs on the season, winning their seventh straight over Tobs on Sunday. The loss pushed the Tobs back to 4-10 in the CPL second half and 13-29 overall on the season.

Sunday’s game was called in the bottom of the seventh inning, with the Tobs trailing 11-9. Andre Nnebe (Santa Clara) represented the tying run at the plate with Nick Kitzmann (UC-San Diego) on second base. A sudden rainstorm with heavy winds came over Fleming Stadium, and umpires Steven Grady and Adam Sepulveda pulled both teams off the field. By rule, the offical fina score must come from the last completed inning of the game, hence the 9-5 score, as that was the score at the end of the sixth inning.

Defense was not a high point for the Tobs on Sunday, as they committed six errors through the game’s first seven innings. Every member of the Tobs’ starting infield had at least one error in the ballgame.

The shaky defense resulted in Ted Stuka (UC-San Diego) yielding only two earned runs out of the nine that crossed the plate on his watch. The right-hander, who got the start for the Tobs on the mound, lasted 3.2 innings, allowing nine runs (two earned) on seven hits, striking out two and walking three. Stuka took the loss for the Tobs to drop back to 0-2 on the season.

Will Edwards (Chowan) pitched 2.2 innings of relief out of the bullpen following Stuka’s outing. The left-hander allowed two runs (neither was earned) on three hits, striking out three and walking two.

Finally, KJ McAllister (NC A&T) came on for the Tobs, tossing 0.2 scoreless innings without allowing a hit.

The Tobs trailed Sunday’s game 9-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, marking the spot where the Tobs began the comeback.

Josh Ladowski (UNC) doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning, and two batters later Chad Frazier (Concord) blooped in a single that made it a first-and-second situation with 1 out. Connor Leonard (Appalachian State) then singled to right center, scoring Ladowski and sending Frazier to third base. The next batter Jake Holtzapple (UNC) hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Frazier to make it a 9-2 game.

After Will Edwards held Edenton scoreless in the top of the fifth, the Tobs plated three more in the bottom half. Andre Nnebe doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning. Next up, Brady Lloyd (ECU) bunted a ball down the third base line that was thrown away by Edenton third baseman Tristan Carranza (New Mexico State). Nnebe scored, and Lloyd made it all the way to third on the error. Roberto Rivera (UNC Pembroke) then hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Lloyd, making the score 9-4. Two batters later, Dawnoven Smith (NC A&T) launched a solo home run to left-center, his third of the year, to pull the Tobs within four at 9-5.

The Tobs missed a big opportunity in the sixth, leaving the bases loaded as Roberto Rivera struck out to end the frame, representing the tying run at the plate.

Edenton would plate two in the top of the seventh to make it an 11-5 game, but the Tobs still weren’t done.

After Edenton reliever Sean Hughes (Boston College) hit two men and walked one to start the bottom of the seventh inning, he was pulled from the game. Jeff Schwartz (Hope International) came into the game, as by this point it was apparent that weather was going to make its way over Fleming Stadium. The second man Schwartz faced was Jake Holtzapple. Holtzapple blooped a single into center that scored Josh Ladowski, and on the play Edenton center fielder James Battley (Illinois-Springfield) fired a bad throw into the Tobs third base dugout, allowing Dawnoven Smith and Chad Frazier to score as well, making it an 11-8 game. the next batter Nick Kitzmann doubled to left center, scoring Holtzapple and made the score 11-9.

The next batter was Andre Nnebe, and moments later the game entered the weather delay that would eventually end the game, a 9-5 score in favor of the Steamers.

The Tobs will be back in action tomorrow, July 24 for a road matchup against the Edenton Steamers from Hstoric Hicks Field.

The Wilson Tobs enter their 21st season as an original member within the Coastal Plain League for the 2017 summer. The upcoming season for the Tobs will see an expanded community outreach effort, increased participation in helping the less fortunate and more exciting entertainment for the Wilson Community. We would like to dedicate each successful season to the Wilson Community, Coastal Plain League Organization, Host Families, Sponsors Partners and the Dedicated Fans throughout the city of Wilson. The Wilson Tobs have played host to over 100 alumni taken in the draft and have produced a dozen players who have gone on to play in the MLB, including Cy Young & MVP winner Justin Verlander. For more information on the Wilson Tobs, visit our website www.wilsontobs.com.

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..


- Will Hibbard