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MARTINSVILLE, Va. — A second-straight one-sided loss to the Martinsville Mustangs —a 13-3 setback Saturday evening at Hooker Field — left the Wilson Tobs still in charge of their own destiny but far from sure of a Coastal Plain League playoff spot entering the final week of the regular season.
The Tobs, with their third straight loss in the books, dropped to 12-7 in the second half but still own a two-game lead over the Peninsula Pilots in the North Division going into Sunday. The Pilots, who won the North first-half title and assured themselves of a home game in the first round of the Petitt Cup playoffs, had games against the Edenton Steamers postponed Saturday and then Sunday. The Tobs had their last off day of the season Sunday.
Wilson has six games remaining, starting Monday at Morehead City, in addition to the completion of a suspended game Friday at Peninsula. That game, which had the Pilots leading 2-1 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, will be completed Tuesday prior to the regularly scheduled game between the teams at Fleming Stadium.
The Tobs’ magic number to clinch the second-half title is 6 but, at 22-21 on the season, they are also two games ahead of the Edenton Steamers for overall record, which would be used to determine the second representative from the North Division in the playoffs if Peninsula wins the second half as well.
The Tobs, who were smoked 10-0 by the Mustangs on Thursday at Fleming, watched Martinsville erupt for seven runs on five hits and a pair of Wilson errors in the bottom of the first inning Saturday. Daniel Vitello swatted a two-run triple of Wilson starting pitcher Gary Watkins to complete the outburst.
Shortstop Joe Boyle launched a three-run home run in the second inning, sending Watkins (2-1) to the bench.
The Tobs, who were outhit 14-6, didn’t score until the eighth inning when Matt McCourt stroked a one-out double and later scored on Brentan Doyle’s groundout.
J.T. Stone scored on Ben Faso’s sacrifice fly in the ninth for the Tobs’ other run.
Addison Domingo went eight innings to get the win on the mound for Martinsville, making him 4-1. He struck out 10.
Doyle and Faso each had two hits for the Tobs while Romero Harris and Vitello each went 3 for 5 to pace the Mustangs.
Score by innings:
Wilson 000 000 021 — 3
Martinsville 730 100 11x — 13
WP-Addison Domingo (4-1) 8 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO. LP-Gary Watkins (2-1) 1 2/3 IP, 7 H, 10 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Wilson: Brenton Doyle 2-4, RBI; Matt McCourt 1-4, 2B, RBI; Ben Faso 2-4, RBI. Martinsville: Daniel Vitello 3-5, 3B, 3 RBIs; Romero Harris 3-5, 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs; Joe Boyle 2-4, HR, 3 RBIs.