HAMPTON, VA-One night after the Peninsula Pilots handed the Wilson Tobs five unearned runs en route to an 8-6 victory, the Tobs returned the favor with three unearned runs in the fourth inning to help the Pilots in an 8-4 win.The Pilots moved to 36-12 on the season, 15-5 in the second half. Wilson fell back to .500 with a 23-23 overall record and 8-10 in the second half.
It was a very tight contest for most of the night as Shawn Clowers (Liberty) faced off against Braden Bristo (Louisiana Tech) with the two pitchers doing a good job of holding batters at bay. Clowers pitched five solid innings giving just two hits and one run on his way to his third win of the season, improving his record to (3-0). Braden Bristo was again saddled with a tough luck loss for the Tobs. His record drops to 1-6 despite going six innings and allowing just one earned run (four runs total) on six hits against three walks and two strikeouts.
In the third inning, Connor Myers (ODU) singled to short to begin the frame and Andres Nelo (Lee) walked before getting bunted over by Garrett Brooks (ECU). Kyle Kempf (Southern Indiana) hit a liner to left, which was tracked down by Adam Pate (North Carolina) for a sacrifice fly, driving home the first run of the game.
The Tobs struck back in the next half inning with some small ball. Pate started the inning with a walk and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Doug Teegarden (EKU). After Seth LaRue (Campbell) was hit by a pitch and a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, Ben Schmucker singled hard through the hole between first and second, driving home a run and leaving runners at second and third as he moved up to second on the throw from right. But the Tobs could not capitalize; Matthew Parrish (Campbell) struck out on a dubious fastball over the inside corner and Drew Cole (UNC Pembroke) grounded out to short to end the inning.
Then a single error turned the momentum of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Braden Bristo retired the first two batters with ease and looked prime to make it a flawless inning as a groundball made its way to Teegarden over at third, but the ball was mishandled allowing the inning to continue.
Nick Lustrino (Temple) singled to left on the first pitch of his at bat and Myers backed that up with another single to left. Pate charged the ball and threw a perfect one-hopper to the plate, but it was just late, allowing Kyle Johnson (Purdue), who reached on the error, to score. Nelo belted the second pitch of his at bat towards the left-center field gap for a two run triple, propelling the Pilots ahead 4-1.
Jonathan Rosenberger (Newberry) kept the Tobs off the board as well with two innings of scoreless work. The Pilots were primed to take an even bigger lead in the bottom of the sixth when they had a runner on second and one out, but Teegarden robbed Nelo of another extra base hit, snaring a line drive over his head, which provoked a long applause from the home crowd.
Johnson plated another run for the Pilots with an RBI double in the seventh inning and Nelo drove in his third run of the game with a single in the eighth to give the Pilots a 7-1 lead. They would add one more later in the inning off of Patrick Phillips (ODU) as he lost control of his fastball, walking in a run with the bases loaded to finish the scoring.
Thomas Busbice (Iowa Western) came into the game in the bottom of the ninth to close the game out for the Pilots. Busbice struggled to get the final three outs allowing three hits and two walks while surrendering three runs. However, he induced a bases loaded ground ball by Kenny Hostrander (EKU) to end the game.