WILSON, N.C. – A pair of eighth-inning runs by the Catawba Valley Stars would cap a late rally for the visitors on Tuesday night in 5-4 win at Historic Fleming Stadium. The Wilson Tobs held a pair of leads in the contest but would be unable to onto a 4-3 advantage late in the contest. Fans enjoyed the first Tobs All You Can Eat Tuesday of the season courtesy of Da Bayou.
First Baseman Ben Faso and right fielder Dudley Taw accounted for all four runs that would be scored by the Tobs as the pair gave Wilson a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The duo would later help erase a 3-2 deficit by putting the Tobs ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Stars would rally against the Tobs' bullpen in the top of the eighth inning with reliever Carson Freeman on the mound. Freeman retired the first two batters of the inning for Catawba Valley before surrendering three consecutive hits that would allow the Stars to knot the score 4-4. With runners on first and third, a wild pitch allowed the eventual game-winning run to cross the plate.
Brenton Doyle continued his strong start to the season for the Tobs by delivering a leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning against Catawba Valley starter Alex Jarvis. Following a stolen base, Doyle advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Faso hit a deep fly ball to right field to allow Doyle to score and make it 1-0 Wilson. Taw then plated designated hitter Shamoy Christopher from third with a single to center field to up the lead to 2-0.
Gary Watkins, Jason Cornatzer, and Chris Farrell combined to hold the Stars scoreless through the opening three innings of play as all three made their season debuts for Wilson. The Stars would knot the score in the top of the fourth inning as back-to-back singles against Niko Jenkins put a pair of runners on base. Following a call to the bullpen, Catawba Valley got a single from Nick Rose that would plate both runners.
The fifth inning saw both teams put runs on the scoreboard as the Stars took their first lead of the contest off an RBI groundout. Catcher Cole Parks laced a triple off Wilson reliever Jared Gallagher to start the frame and scored on a groundball to the shortstop off the bat of Logan Stoudt.
Drew Brooks got things going for the Tobs in the bottom of the frame with a single down the right-field line. Following a walk to Christopher, both runners would steal second and third to set up huge at-bats by Faso and Taw. Faso hit his second sacrifice fly of the night, this time to center field to score Brooks and knot the score 3-3. Taw followed with a double to right field to score Christopher and give Wilson its second lead of the night.
Both teams would go scoreless until Catawba Valley plated a pair of runs against Freeman in the eighth inning. Wilson would be held scoreless over the final four innings by the duo of Parks and Danny Brennan. The Tobs stranded eight runners on base in the contest and were unable to produce a hit against Brennan in the eighth and ninth innings.
Parks, who started the game behind the plate for the Stars earned the win for Catawba Valley, while Brennan recorded the save. The Tobs sent nine different pitchers to the mound for a second straight game as Freeman was handed with the loss. Wilson recorded 13 strikeouts as a staff while issuing just three walks.
The Tobs open Coastal Plain League play on Thursday, May 31 against the Peninsula Pilots at 7 p.m. It will be the first Throwback Thirsty Thursday of the season at Historic Fleming Stadium courtesy of Greenlight, BB&T, RA Jeffreys, and Deans Farm Market. The Tobs will also be hosting Wilson Chamber Night along with its Farm to Field Farmer's Market. Gates will open at 6 p.m.
The Wilson Tobs enter their 22nd season as a founding member of the Coastal Plain League. The upcoming season for the Tobs will see an expanded community outreach effort, increased participation in helping the less fortunate, a Pettit Cup Championship team, 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, Corporate 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.
Season tickets and ticket packages are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (252) 291-8627, or by visiting www.wilsontobs.com/tickets.