HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. – The Holly Springs Salamanders hosted the Martinsville Mustangs for a Father’s Day doubleheader of seven-inning games at the North Main Athletic Complex on Sunday.
Coming off a 3-1 exhibition loss to Team USA in Cary on Saturday, Salamanders head coach Andrew Ciencin liked where his team stood after 20 games with a .500 record and tied for third place in the Coastal Plain League (CPL) East.
During a week in which they were 4-2 coming into the matchup with the Mustangs, he liked what his team was doing in, day in and day out.
“I think we played well – I think we’re comin’ together as a team,” Ciencin said.
“They’re startin’ to put together at-bats which is good. Gettin’ runners in when you need to. The pitching has been (coming along) really well. That’s been our struggle early on in the season, but they’re startin’ to come around. It’s good to see that.”
The early game was a make-up of a rained-out contest between the two squads earlier in the week at Martinsville, and was added to the day’s originally scheduled matchup.
Keeping to the theme, the Mustangs (10-12) doubled-up on the Salamanders (10-12) and won both games 4-2 in front of a crowd of 1,412 that entered the park from mid-afternoon into the early evening.
Even with how well Holly Springs was playing, Martinsville’s bats managed to get the job done to pull out two wins on the day.
Andrew Wantz (1-1, 5 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 6 SO) started the first game and suffered the loss, while Collin Woody (0-1, 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 SO) took to the mound and eventually claimed the loss in the second outing for the Salamanders.
Reginald Johnson (3-0) completed the full seven innings for Martinsville in Game 1, while Reed Shuttle (1-0) and Zach Williams jammed Holly Springs’ batters enough to hold on for a win in Game 2.
The Mustangs outhit the Salamanders 16-7 in the two games combined.
Woody powered the Salamanders offense throughout the day, including a two-run homer, his team-leading fourth during the first game, while he and Brian Miller posted RBIs during the second.
Ranked third in the CPL in batting with a .391 average, UNC’s Miller extended his streak of reaching base to 13 games while also extending his multi-hit streak to eight contests.
“Pushing forward – they just gotta’ keep playin’,” Ciencin added.
“They gotta’ keep bringin’ the same energy every night. Seeing them runnin’ hard and competin’ every night, it’s good. I think we’ll be fine.”