Morehead City, NC - The Tri-City Chili Peppers fell 11-7 in a road matchup to the Morehead City Marlins, who lead the East Division of the Coastal Plain League.
UNC's Brandon Eike started the Chili Peppers offense off on the right foot with a home run in the top of the first to put the team on the scoreboard. Danny Kirwin (Rider University) started on the hill for Tri City and held the Marlins to no hits or runs in the first.
Tuesday was a big home run night for the Chili Peppers, with Avery Neaves (University of Lynchburg) and Michael Dolberry (Longwood University) each hitting home runs of their own in the second to give Tri City a 3-0 lead. Morehead City was able to score one run in the bottom of the inning thanks to a triple from the first batter of the half inning.
Tri City's bats slowed down in the third, during which they had no hits or runs. The Marlins put up one hit in the bottom of the inning, but failed to lessen their deficit.
The Chili Peppers hitting drought didn't last long. Dolberry and David Jeffers (Northwood University) each hit singles in the top of the fourth, and Dolberry was able to score.
The Tri City defense struggled in the fourth, with a consecutive hit by pitch, walk, and reach on error. A wild pitch brought in a run and another error aided in two more runs scoring. Another wild pitch brought in two more runs to give the Marlins their first lead of the game. Thomas Greeson (Gordon State College) replaced Kirwin to get the final out, ending the fourth inning with a 6-4 Morehead City lead.
Elon's Kenny Mallory Jr. hit a single for the only Chili Peppers hit in the top of the fifth. Greeson got the first two outs of the bottom of the inning before Colin Yablonski of Coastal Carolina took over pitching. The two held the Marlins to no hits or runs.
Tri City batted three up, three down in the sixth. Two hits, two walks, and a hit by pitch allowed Morehead City to put up two runs in the sixth and resulted in another Chili Peppers pitching change to VMI commit Marcus Van Alstine.
The Chili Peppers failed to put up any hits or runs in the top of the seventh. Although the Marlins had one hit, they were unable to score. Tri City batted three up, three down in the eighth. Four hits allowed Morehead City to put up an additional three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
In their final plate appearance, two walks and a single by Kasten Furr (University of New Orleans) loaded the bases for Tri City. A single by Eike brought in two runs and another single by Willie Havens (Elon) brought in a third run to end the game in an 11-7 Marlins win.
The Chili Peppers will travel back home for tomorrow's matchup against the Martinsville Mustangs.