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FLORENCE, S.C. — The Wilson Tobs’ first trip to Sparrow Stadium to play the Florence RedWolves since 2013, didn’t end well for the Coastal Plain League North Division first-half champion Wednesday evening.
The Tobs, who last faced the South Division RedWolves in 2015 in Wilson, were held to five hits and committed three second-inning errors in a 9-3 loss. It was the first loss for Wilson to a nondivision team after five wins.
The Tobs, now 1-1 in the CPL season’s second half, dropped to 15-12 overall. Florence (2-1, 12-17) benefited from Wilson’s sloppy play in the bottom of the second inning, scoring four runs on two hits and the aforementioned three errors. That made a loser of Tobs starting pitcher Grant Fremion (0-2), who gave up six runs, but only three earned, on four hits and a walk in three innings.
Wilson scratched out a run in the top of the first inning when Florence shortstop Grey Epps misplayed left fielder Christian Avant’s bases-loaded grounder with two outs. That allowed Jared Carr, who started the rally with a one-out single, to score.
The lead didn’t last long as RedWolves first baseman J.T. Weber tripled to lead off the bottom on the second and scored on left fielder Michael Richardson’s groundout. After an infield single, consecutive errors by Tobs shortstop DeShawn Lookout, second baseman Nick Rose and third baseman De’Andre Pitts led to three more runs.
Richardson doubled in two runs in the bottom of the third to give Florence a 6-1 lead before the Tobs answered with a pair in the top of the sixth. Rose delivered a two-out RBI single before scoring on another error by Florence’s Epps.
The RedWolves slammed the door on the Tobs’ hopes for a comeback with three earned runs off Wilson reliever Steven Worley, a University of Mount Olive rising sophomore and 2017 North Johnston High graduate, in the bottom of the seventh.
Carr was 2 for 5 to lead Wilson at the plate.
In their final home game before the CPL All-Star Showdown two-day break begins Sunday, the Tobs play the Wilmington Sharks at 5 p.m. Thursday in Fleming Stadium.
Tobs general manager Mike Bell explained the early start is an attempt to avoid a conflict with the July 4 fireworks show at the Wilson County Fairgrounds later Thursday evening. Thursday’s activities in the stadium include the Fourth of July Corn Hole Tournament at 3 p.m.
The Tobs then travel to the Martinsville Mustangs on Friday and visit the Peninsula Pilots on Saturday.
Three players, including a pair of Barton College pitchers, have been added to the Tobs roster this week.
Right-handed pitcher Alex Hart of Barton and infielder Nick Rose of Chowan University joined the team Tuesday. Left-handed pitcher Jakob Ryan of Barton was a Wednesday addition.
Tobs head coach Bryan Hill said the additions will enhance depth for the second half of the season.
Rose started the season with the Tobs but landed an opportunity to play for the Utica (Michigan) Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League, a third-year independent league located in the Detroit area. Rose batted .077 in six games.
Ryan was a weekend starter for the Bulldogs of the NCAA Division II ranks, while Hart was utilized as a starter and reliever. Hart also pitched in the CPL in 2018 for the Edenton Steamers, working 10 1/3 innings.
Ryan, a junior transfer, posted a 5-3 record with a 4.73 earned run average and three complete games. In 70 1/3 innings, he issued 30 walks and registered 78 strikeouts.
Hart improved from 0-8 as a Barton freshman to 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA. He worked 48 1/3 innings, walking 15 and striking out 55.
Score by innings:
Wilson 100 002 000 — 3
Florence 042 000 30x — 9