Hampton, VA - The Tri-City Chili Peppers fell to their in-state rivals the Peninsula Pilots for the second time in a row in Friday’s road matchup.
After a loss to their rivals at home on Thursday, the Tri-City Chili Peppers visited the Peninsula Pilots to get things done on Friday night.
The Tri-City bats were slow moving in the start of this game, with the only offensive action coming from a single by Kasten Furr (University of New Orleans.)
As we’ve seen often with these two teams so far this season, whoever scores first tends to win. The same was true in Friday’s matchup. The Pilots took an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first while Zach Potts (University of Lynchburg) was on the mound for the Chili Peppers.
Things didn’t look up for the Tri-City offense in the second, during which they batted three up, three down. Potts held Peninsula in the second with no hits or runs allowed, so the score stayed at 2-0 after two.
David Jeffers (Northwood University) started the third inning off with a single, and despite advancing to third base, he was unable to score to put the Chili Peppers on the scoreboard. The Pilots used the third inning as an opportunity to advance their lead with three more runs.
The fourth was another slow offensive inning, with neither team scoring. Three Chili Peppers walked in the top of the fifth, but once again, they were unable to score. Luckily, Peninsula failed to score in the fifth as well. They batted three up, three down after Jackson Walker (Franklin Pierce University) took over for Tri-City on the hill.
The Chili Peppers followed in the Pilots’ footsteps, batting three up, three down to start the sixth. Tri-City resorted to the bullpen in the sixth, during which Trey Shepherd (Catawba Valley Community College) pitched. Shepherd allowed two runs to advance the Peninsula lead to seven.
Tri-City crushed the possibility of a shutout in the seventh inning. Kenny Mallory Jr (Vanderbilt) and Riley Motley (PHCC) both had singles that aided their team in putting up three runs to make the score 7-3.
Branden Blankenship (Morehead State University) pitched in the seventh. The Pilots put up another run to make a Chili Peppers comeback seem even less possible.
Tri-City’s offense was unable to continue their success in the eighth, batting three up, three down. The team had another pitching change in the bottom of the inning to Eli Parks (Howard College, TX), who held Peninsula to no hits or runs.
Still back five runs, the Chili Peppers looked to make an impressive comeback in the top of the ninth, but failed to do so. Willie Havens (Elon) aided his team with a ground rule double, but the team was unable to score, ending the game in an 8-3 loss.
Tonight, Tri-City will remain on the road to face off against the Asheboro Zookeepers for the first team this season.