Matt Malatesta impressed on the mound in a 6-1 opening win Saturday, but the USCB Sand Sharks dropped the rematch 6-3 for a doubleheader split with Mid-Atlantic Christian at Richard Gray Stadium.
Neither squad could push across a run in the first four innings of game one, but USCB had several opportunities to cash in, stranding three runners on the basepaths.
Malatesta held the Mustangs off the board through five and was rewarded in the bottom half of the fifth as USCB racked up four runs. Tim Wood drove in the game’s first tally off a sacrifice fly, Tavaris Terrell singled to center to score two, and Kyran Russ knocked in another to take a 4-0 lead.
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USCB’s offense produced again in the sixth, adding two more runs to extend the advantage. Alexander Humphery drilled a pinch-hit triple, and Brock Thibodeaux drew a six-pitch walk to set up a two-RBI single by Wesley Ambrose, growing the lead to 6-0.
Eamonn Collins finished off the strong performance, pitching two innings and allowing just one hit to limit Mid-Atlantic Christian’s rally and clinch a dominant 6-1 win.
Malatesta strung together a fantastic outing, earning the win in five scoreless innings and striking out six. Collins closed it out on the mound, tossing the final two frames and adding a strikeout. Ambrose led the Sand Sharks at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
USCB fell behind early in game two, as the Mustangs plated a pair of runs in the first on three hits while cashing in on a Sand Shark error. The two-run lead stayed intact until the fourth when Leandy Castro smacked a solo homer to right center before a throwing error and wild pitch scored two more to give USCB the 3-2 lead.
Mid-Atlantic Christian stole the advantage right back, plating one on a passed ball and another on a sacrifice fly to go up 4-3. The Mustangs tacked on two more in the seventh, and USCB came up empty in the bottom half after sending the tying run to the plate.
Castro paced the Sand Shark attack, delivering a perfect 2-for-2 contest with a double and his fifth home run of the season. Collins came in again in the rematch, recording two outs in the seventh with no additional damage to keep the game in striking distance.
USCB (9-8, 2-4) takes on Mid-Atlantic Christian in another home doubleheader Sunday.
By Wes Kerr / Photos by Bob Cragin