Weber leads Mustangs to win in season finale

Updated August 08 2017

In a season marred by injuries the Mustangs found a way to close the season on a high note. With Savannah coming to town for the first time of the season, the Mustangs got a gutsy effort from John Weber as they defeated the Bananas 5-3. Mother nature took over late and the game was called in the eighth inning.

Just as in the game on Sunday afternoon, the Mustangs offense got out to an early lead with some help from the Bananas defense. Emilio Abreu reached on an error by the Bananas third baseman and Julian Lopez followed with a single against Savannah starter Spencer Hynes (1-3).

With runners on the corners, Ethan Goforth grounded out to second and Abreu scored the first run of the game. Matt Dunlevy made it 2-0 with an RBI single and then with the bases loaded Keaton Weisz worked a walk to make it 3-0.

The Mustangs added a run in the third after a RBI single from Marshall Gei. Gei had two hits in the game.

Savannah got to Weber in the fifth inning after he allowed a couple of hits. With two outs Bryce Fischer launched a home run over the center field wall. The Mustangs lead was trimmed to one.

Weber settled down after the fifth inning. In the seventh with the tying run at second, Weber got Fischer to strikeout.

Weber was tested again in the eighth after an error put a runner on third with one out. Weber got the next Banana to pop out in foul territory and then struck out Garrett Nelson to end the inning. Weber (4-2) finished with seven strikeouts.

In the bottom of the eighth Martinsville added a run and was looking for more but the weather took over. Weisz also picked up a single in the inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. The game never resumed and Martinsville went on to win 5-3.

The Mustangs finished on a three-game winning streak and with an overall record of 24-31. Martinsville finished in fifth place, one spot out of a playoff spot.

For players such as Preston Szuch and Josh Smith, it also marked the end of a two year stretch with the Mustangs.

“The relationships are a given,” Szuch said. “As a player I learned so much from our coaches and players.”

Coach Higginbotham also reflected on his second season with the Mustangs.

“It was a blast to have [Coach] Vruggink back and [Coach] Soine on this year. I’m just soaking in all the memories,” he said.

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..


Nathan Loprete