COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. – A battle till the very end falls in the favor of the now 4-0 Morehead City Marlins. The back-to-back league champs scored four runs over the final three innings to take the 9-7 win, and drop the Chili Peppers to 1-3 on the young season.
Tonight it was the Tri-Cities who struck first as Willie Havens (Elon) notched his first homer of the summer with two away in the bottom of the first inning.
The Marlins wasted no time mounting a response. Two-hole hitter Jack Harris (Newberry) doubled his RBI total from two to four with a double down the left field line driving home Nick Sanders (Reinhardt) and Robbie O’Neal (UNC Greensboro).
The Chili Peppers came back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second thanks to a two run blast off the bat of Logan Jarvis (Belmont) to put the Chili Peppers back ahead, at 3-2. Jarvis was not done there.
Fast forward to the bottom of the fourth, Jarvis led off the frame with a solo blast traveling over 400 feet to dead centerfield. Two more runs scored in the same half inning, thanks in part to an error from Morehead City, and the other coming from an RBI double off the bat of the red-hot Cade Swisher (Virginia Tech).
With baseball, as quickly as you get three runs, you can give them back. That was exactly the case in the top of the fifth as the Marlins plated a trio of runs, despite having just one hit in the half inning.
With the lead down to a single run, the Tri-Cities turned to Swisher once more and the right fielder drove his second run of the night to make it a 7-5 Chili Pepper lead.
However, innings seven through nine belong to Morehead City. The Marlins drove in a run in the seventh, then got a scoreless half inning from reliever Trey Jernigan (UNC-Asheville). Then it was a two spot in the top of the eighth before turning it over to lights out lefty, Brendan Bean (Penn).
A run of insurance was added in the form of a solo home run for Harris, his first of the summer. Bean went on to close it down in the home half of the ninth to bring the game to his 9-7 final score.
The Chili Peppers will be back in action on Thursday, June 3, in Wilson N.C. for a rematch with the Tobs, who the Tri-Cities bested in their home opener last night.