Morehead City, NC August 21, 2013 – Another season has come and gone for the Morehead City Marlins. Although the team finished with a record of 24-32, the team showed signs of excellence as it persevered through the dozens of roster moves made throughout the season.
The purpose of the Coastal Plain league is to host some of the nation’s top collegiate baseball players. For the 17th straight season, it did just that. One of the top players to spend time in the CPL throughout the 2013 season was Marlins slugging first baseman, Chase McDonald. He left the team at the end of June to pursue an opportunity most children only dream of. He was drafted with the first pick of the 12th round by the Houston Astros organization. The right-handed first baseman out of Greenville, N.C. is now playing in rookie ball for the Greeneville Astros in Greeneville, TN. Joe Gunkel was also selected in the draft after making one appearance for the Marlins. He is currently playing for the Lowell Spinners, the single A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
In addition to Chase McDonald, many other Marlins shared success this season as well. Dalton Britt and Ryan Cranmer represented Morehead City in the 2013 Coastal Plain League All-Star Game, which was held at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton, V.A. The honor was much deserved as Britt was one of, if not the top, shortstop in the league as he made ridiculous plays look routine all year long. He hit .263 with 17 RBI’s and posted a .941 fielding percentage. Cranmer did more than hold his own in the batter’s box this season. He lead the league in home runs with 12, was second in slugging percentage at .569 and tied for fourth in hits with 56. The Newport, N.C. native started 52 games and played a variety of positions. Sam Ott also wrapped up his Marlins career with a fine season as he finished second on the team in RBI’s with 28. He started 54 games in 2013, giving him an astounding total of 108 games played in his Marlins career.
As a team, the Marlins finished fourth in the CPL in batting average, hitting .251. They were among the top five teams in slugging percentage, (.355, 4th) hits, (445, 3rd) doubles, (73, 5th) triples, (11, 3rd) home runs (30, 2nd) and total bases (630, 2nd). Some memorable offensive outbursts included scoring six runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Wilmington Sharks 12 to 11 on June 13th and scoring 11 runs on 10 hits in the fifth inning of a 14-9 home win over Wilson on July 19th.
The pitchers had a solid year as well, as Nathan Harsh (Kennesaw State) was named the Coastal Plain League’s Pitcher of the Week after a 16-strikeout performance against the Petersburg Generals on June 11th. The 16 strikeouts tied a Marlins single game record. Jonathan Paquet, Taylor Thurber, and Adam Quiles combined to throw a no hitter against the Petersburg Generals on June 20th. It was the first no hitter in Marlins history, and the Marlins were victorious by a score of 5 to 0. Calvin Rayburn led the team in innings pitched and was tied with Ben Fuchs in wins as he finished the season 4-2 with an ERA of 2.32.
The Marlins had a 3.64 ERA as a team and struck out the most opposing batters of any team in the CPL with a whopping total of 458. Some of the flamethrowers included Calvin Rayburn striking out 56 batters in 62 innings, Jonathan Bobea striking out 45 in 30 innings, Kyle Weary striking out 31 in 25 innings of work and Jhon Peralta sitting down 23 batters in 15 innings.
The Marlins finished with a 16-13 record at home. 35,199 fans took in a game at Big Rock Stadium this summer for an average of 1,257 per opening. That average attendance was good enough for 40th place among the 166 summer collegiate teams across the country. 2,365 fans came out on July 14th for Rock the Rock featuring country music star Dustin Lynch. The Marlins defeated the U.S. Military All-Stars by a score of 4 to 2 on June 8th in front of a crowd of 2,017. The Marlins wrapped up the season by hosting the Wilmington Sharks with 2,242 in attendance. The Marlins would like to thank all their fans for their continued support and look forward to seeing them at the Rock in 2014!
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 17th season in 2013, the CPL features 14 teams playing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,000 alumni drafted and 64 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as CPLBaseball).