Salamanders lose 9-6 to Blowfish, complete busy week in CPL

Chris Baird, Triangle Sports Network

Chris Baird, Triangle Sports Network

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. – The Holly Springs Salamanders traveled to face the Lexington County Blowfish on Monday and came away with 9-6 loss, putting them at 3-3 on the season following their first-ever week of play in the Coastal Plain League (CPL).

Currently sitting tied for fourth place in the East Division, the Salamanders will host the Asheboro Copperheads at Holly Springs Park at the North Main Athletic Complex on Tuesday.

It was quite a week for the league’s newest franchise.

Starting on May 26th, the Salamanders posted the franchise’s historic first win, a 5-2 decision on the road, over the Asheboro Copperheads.

A close 3-2 road loss to the two-time defending champion Peninsula Pilots the next night prepped the Salamanders to host their first-ever game at their brand new all-turf facility.

The team’s sold out home opener on May 28th didn’t disappoint the 2,189 in attendance, who were seated and in standing room only sections, as they rallied and staged a comeback in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Edenton Steamers 7-6.

It seemed like the euphoria and energy expended during the three first days of the season caught up with the Salamanders as they then suffered a 9-0 loss to the High Point-Thomasville HiToms last Friday.

Coming back home on Saturday seemed to be the right tonic as Holly Springs remained undefeated in its new park, posting another close win, a 4-3 finish, against the Wilson Tobs in front of another sold out crowd.

Having the chance to rest on Sunday, and even while losing to Lexington County last night, the team’s strong start shows that coach Andrew Ciencin is capable of piecing together and maximizing his lineup’s performance under constantly changing conditions and circumstances – the nature of playing in the CPL.

As more team’s exit the current NCAA collegiate postseason, expect to see a few more new faces on the field for the Salamanders in the coming week.

Notes: In CPL statistical categories, Holly Springs ranks second in home runs, with two, while Edenton leads the league with four…The team’s fielding percentage (.960) is third-best in the league as well as puts them second overall in assists (84) and double plays (7)…Still working to put together a strong offense, the Salamanders hitters have struggled at the plate as the team sits fourth in overall strikeouts with 55 exits from the box…Control problems off the mound has Holly Springs ranked second in wild pitches (11) and hit batters (13)…On the positive side, the team’s baserunners have stolen 15 bases on 18 attempts, both good for fourth in the league…The Salamanders’ defense has been exceptional in catching other teams stealing bases a league-high seven times.