WILSON, N.C. – Backed by another strong outing from starting pitcher Chris Kernen, the Wilson Tobs snapped a five-game losing streak with a 7-5 victory in game two of a doubleheader on Sunday against the Fayetteville SwampDogs at Historic Fleming Stadium. Fayetteville won game one 6-5 despite a late rally from the Tobs.
Wilson held its 6th Annual Home Run for Hunger Celebration as fans brought non-perishable food items to help stock food pantries across Wilson County. The food drive is the largest that is held in Wilson County. The Tobs would like to thank all of the sponsors who help to make the food drive possible and to those who donate non-perishable food items annually.
In game one, the SwampDogs used a five-run top of the third inning to shift the momentum in the contest against the Tobs. Wilson starter Josh Arnold breezed through the first two innings, limiting Fayetteville to just two baserunners before nine batters came to the plate in the third.
Tyler Shuck highlighted the frame for the SwampDogs with a bases-clearing double to left center to increase the advantage to 5-0. Arnold would get out of the inning following a lineout to JT Stone at second base.
Wilson tallied back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the frame to cut the deficit to 5-1. Jacob Nester plated Ben Faso from second with a two-bagger down the right-field line. Three batters later, Kevin McGowan delivered a run-scoring groundout to make it 5-2.
Trailing 6-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, Carson Freeman clubbed his second home run of the season to pull the Tobs to within a run of the SwampDogs. Fayetteville would escape the frame without further damage as reliever Jared Lembcke recorded the third out.
Arnold (0-1) was handed with the loss after allowing five unearned runs off four hits as he recorded three strikeouts to go along with three walks. Jared Gallagher tossed two scoreless innings of relief for the Tobs while notching three strikeouts.
Fayetteville took an early 1-0 lead in game two as Kernen saw the SwampDogs score off an error with no outs in the frame. Kernen responded by fanning consecutive batters to end the inning. The Tobs quickly knotted the score in the bottom of the inning as Hunter Coleman recorded a sacrifice fly to plate Brenton Doyle.
Freeman continued his nice night at the plate by giving the Tobs a 2-1 lead with a single to left field as McGowan scored. Kernen would settle in over the next two innings as the Wilson offense upped the advantage to 5-1 in the bottom of the third inning. Faso plated a pair of runs with his single to right center as Freeman and Jacob Charron scored.
The Tobs added a run in the fourth and fifth innings to increase the lead to 7-1 over the SwampDogs as Coleman and Doyle delivered RBI singles. Kernen would exit the game in the top of the sixth inning following a leadoff walk. Fayetteville rallied to plate four runs against Wilson reliever Charlie Sheehan and trim the deficit to 7-5.
Luis Acosta would slam the door shut for the Tobs in the top of the seventh inning as he fanned the side to notch his third save of the season. Wilson finished the contest with 10 strikeouts as a team following the perfect inning from Acosta.
Kernen (3-0) yielded just one earned run and one unearned run through five innings of work against the SwampDogs. He fanned five batters while allowing four hits and five walks on the night. Doyle finished the game 3-for-3 while reaching base four times in the leadoff spot for Wilson. Doyle also recorded his team-leading 12th RBI of the season with a single that scored Faso in the fifth inning.
The Tobs will have an off day on Monday before returning to action on Tuesday night against the Edenton Steamers. First pitch at Edenton is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wilson is back at home on Friday night against the Peninsula Pilots at 7 p.m. It will be Diggin in the Diamond Night courtesy of Saslow's Jewelers in Wilson. Fans can register for tickets and the chance to participate in the postgame festivities at Saslow's.
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.