HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. – The Holly Springs Salamanders outpowered the Fayetteville SwampDogs for a 13-8 win in front of a standing-room only crowd of 2,022 at the North Main Athletic Complex on Friday.
Following a 6-3 loss at Petersburg on Thursday, the Salamanders (7-8) came back home looking to end a current two-game losing skid – having won only two of their last five.
In starting his fourth game of the season, UNC-Greensboro’s Andrew Wantz earned his first win of the season.
In six innings, Wantz struck six batters out, walked one, while accepting three SwampDogs (6-7) runs on seven hits in front of his hometown supporters.
Recording their largest production of hits in a game this season (17), the Salamanders scored in all of their at-bats through six innings, leading 13-3.
“Insurance like that – 13 runs – as a pitcher, the load is taken off your shoulders,” Wantz said.
However, a valiant effort by Fayetteville to come back in the ninth inning with five runs almost unraveled Holly Springs’ dominant play.
“Tonight I told em’ to try and score every inning,” Holly Springs Coach Andrew Ciencin said.
“I think offensively we’re comin’ together. We’re tryin’ to figure it out. Our approach is gettin’ guys in. We didn’t do that last night, but tonight we came out early and got some extra work in, so we did a great job just gettin’ those runs in.”
Both teams showed their power, combining for three home runs, with the SwampDogs winning the derby by a 2-1 margin as Austin Upshaw (1-4, 1 R, 3 RBI) and Chris Lowe (1-2, 2 R , 1 RBI) went long for Fayetteville, while Devin Wenzel (1-4, 1 R) did the same for the Salamanders.
Recent additions, catcher Zach Cerbo (1-3, 1 R) and fielder Robbie Thorburn (3-5, 1 R) each drove in three runs apiece while Brian Miller (2-4, 2 R) and Joey Roach (2-2, 2 R) drove in two.
“It was a good day – it was definitely nice to get back on the field as our season at Arizona State ended a little shorter than we thought – but nice to come out and play here,” Cerbo said.
“The atmosphere is great, the fans were loud and into it, and it was definitely a fun experience.”