Colonial Heights, VA- After a split of a home and home series with the Martinsville Mustangs last weekend coming out of the All-Star break, the Tri City Chili Peppers took a split of a home doubleheader against the Peninsula Pilots Wednesday night at Shepherd Stadium. Alex Christie (Hanover) had his best weekend of the season vs. Martinsville, smashing three home runs over those two games.
Eli Weisner (Charlotte) also had a productive weekend against the Mustangs going 4-12 (.333) and doubling down on it with a single in the second Chili Pepper at bat of game one. Weisner came in to score on the eighth home run of the season by Michael Dolberry (UNC Pembroke) and a 2-0 lead for Tri-City (6-8, 18-19). His was the first of six combined home runs in game one.
Will Riley (VMI) made his first start of the season for the Chili Peppers and held a dangerous Pilots lineup off the scoreboard for four innings, striking out six in the process. Riley also had a big hold in that fourth and final inning stranding the bases loaded after Peninsula (8-6, 17-21) loaded them with one out. His performance was good enough to be named CPL Pitcher of the Night.
Wyatt Stanley (Randolph-Macon) was not so fortunate, as Ryan Dooley (James Madison) took him deep for a go ahead three run blast in the fifth inning. Peninsula’s lead was short lived as Cole Jenkins (VMI) put the Chili Peppers back in front 4-3 with a two run single in the home half of the fifth. The back and forth continued into the sixth when Chris Martinez (University of Science and Art Oklahoma) led off with a solo home run that tied the game 4-4.
Neither team managed to score in the seventh despite the Chili Peppers getting the winning run to third base with two outs. Two walks and a strikeout ended the threat. Things got out of hand fast in the extra frame as the Pilots sent ten batters to the plate in a seven run frame that saw two three run home runs. Cam Miller (Ashland) added his second home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth but it wasn’t nearly enough and the Pilots took game one 11-6.
Chili Peppers pitchers have struggled at times lately but they were solid Wednesday outside of inning eight of game one. Marcus Van Alstine (VMI) continued that into game two, giving up three runs in three and two-thirds innings and earning the win. As home runs were the story in game one, so were miscues in game two. The Pilots scored their first two runs after a two out error by the Chili Peppers gave Peninsula a second chance. Tri-City got its first three runs via passed balls and the lead in the second inning on and emphatic line drive single up the middle scored from Dolberry scored Dalton Hurst (New Orleans) for a 4-3 Chili Peppers lead. Alex Christie (Hanover) collected another RBI with a single to right field in the fourth inning for a 5-3 lead. Jack Goleski (VCU) ended the night on the mound for Tri-City and struck out the side in the seventh to preserve the win.
Thursday, July 27 (7:00) @Peninsula Pilots, Listen on Mixlr
Friday, July 28 (7:00) vs. Martinsville Mustangs, Military Appreciation Night
Saturday, July 29 (6:30) @ Holly Springs Salamanders, Listen on Mixlr