WILMINGTON, NC June 13, 2014 – The Morehead City Marlins had a four run lead going into the ninth inning, but another late meltdown allowed five runs to come across in that ninth, giving the Sharks a 7-6 come from behind victory over Morehead City.
Matt Tindall, who had already had his longest outing of the season after a scoreless seventh and eighth, came out to pitch the ninth for Morehead City and walked the leadoff hitter. He then allowed five of the next six batters to reach, four of whom scored. Tindall was then lifted in favor Tyler Burden, who hit the first batter he faced, putting the winning run on second.
That brought Jake Kusz up to the plate, who laced a walk-off single to right field to complete the comeback for the Sharks. It was the fourth straight game in which the Marlins have blown a lead in the sixth inning or later.
The sour ninth inning spoiled what was up to that point among the best-played games the Marlins had all season. They got a tremendous offensive effort, worked out of jams early on, and cruised in the seventh and eighth before the collapse.
Morehead City was paced offensively by third baseman Johnny Caputo, who was 3-for-4 with a double, four RBI and a walk. The big blow came when he came up with the bases loaded in the sixth. Zach Wimmer, who was on in relief of starter Will Gilbert, walked Kyle Carroll, hit Blake Graham and allowed Nick Lombardi to reach on an error by the shortstop. Caputo smashed a double off the left-field wall to clear the bases, giving the Marlins a 5-2 lead.
Caputo now leads the team in RBI with nine, and has hit safely in five straight games. Over those five games, he is 8-for-15 with a home run, three runs, seven RBI, a homer, a double and two walks.
The other Marlins’ runs came in the second inning, when Matt Simmons singled to lead off the inning and later came around to score on an RBI base hit from Kyle Carroll, in the fifth when Caputo drove home his first run of the game with an RBI-single, and in the eighth when a Blake Graham hot-shot was mishandled at short, allowing Trent Leimkuehler to score.
Carroll, who had only one hit in 14 at bats entering play, went 2-for-2 with an RBI, two walks and two runs.
Marlins’ starter Scott Edge worked 5.1 innings in what was his second start of the season, allowing just the two runs on three hits. Edge had troublesome innings in the second and third, but was twice able to wiggle his
way out of bases loaded, no out jams having allowed only one runner to score. He also loaded the bases in the fifth inning by walking three batters, but was able to retire the side with no runs scoring. In the sixth, Edge allowed the first two to reach before being lifted in favor of Whitman Barnes, who loaded the bases and quickly induced the third Marlins double play of the game to end the inning unscathed.
With the loss, Morehead City moves to 1-14 on the season, and has lost eight straight. They will return to action tomorrow on the road against the first-place Edenton Steamers.
“We just need to go game-by-game,” said pitching coach Aaron Meade. ”We can’t dwell on what has happened. We just have to go out there tomorrow for a new day.”
First pitch in Edenton is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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