Yard Gnomes Baseball

“Fish Fry! Greenville Hands Morehead City Fifth Straight Loss As Yard Gnomes Sneak By Marlins 8-7”

July 1, 2024  |  2:31 AM
Written by: Corey Hodges (Play-By-Play/Communications, X: @The_CoreyHodges)


It was a “Sunday Kind Of (Win)” for Greenville (8-21) on the final day of June as the Yard Gnomes led Morehead City (15-14) 6-2 after four innings from Guy Smith Stadium on Sunday and even withstood a four-run 7th by the Marlins on their way to picking up the feel-good victory.

At one point this season, Morehead City led the season series with Greenville 5-0 but things have been much more competitive as of late between the two Coastal Plain League Eastern Division teams as the Yard Gnomes will turn the calendar to July fresh off a 2-0 week against the Marlins.

One key to the recent uptick in play for Greenville? Fast starts, especially in front of the home crowd.

For the third straight home game, the Yard Gnomes utilized strong run production in the early going to boost their winning chances late and Sunday’s game against Morehead City was no different.

Wills Maginnis (Georgia State, 2-3, three RBI), who would later come through as the hero of the game for Greenville in the 7th, grabbed one of his eventual three RBIs in the 2nd as his sac-fly to center plated Carlos Vasquez (Western Kentucky, 2-4) and gave the Yard Gnomes a 1-0 lead after two innings.

The runs would be in numerical order from the 2nd to the 4th for Greenville as Jack Herring (Rollins College, 1-4) plated two runs in the 3rd to extend the Yard Gnomes’ lead to 3-0.

Naturally, Greenville did one run better in the 4th as three runs were added in response to a two-spot from Morehead City in the road half.

Nick Rodriguez (South Florida) and Gage Griggs (2-4, three stolen bases) both plated off an RBI double from Sean Darnell (UNC Charlotte, 1-4, RBI, walk) in the 4th and all was quiet on the Greenville front until the 7th when Morehead City finally found their bait and tackle and started to fish for runs.

Keenan Taylor (Purdue University, 1-5, RBI) plated Joe Quelch (Georgia Gwinnett College, 2-5) with one out in the 7th for the Marlins which would give way one batter later to another RBI single this time from Luke Scales (Bellarmine, 2-5, RBI) who delivered Erich Hartmann (Rider University, 2-4), a quick one-two punch of runs which cut Greenville’s advantage to 6-4.

Hayden Jatczak (Saginaw Valley State University, 2-4, two RBI, walk) tied the game at six runs each with two outs in the 7th as his RBI double sent Taylor and Scales home. Morehead City would eventually tally six total doubles in the game.

With things back even, that was when it was time for Will Maginnis to be the knight in shining armor for Greenville.

With Joe Siervo (Western Kentucky), pinch-running for his fellow Hilltopper Carlos Vasquez in the home half of the 7th, and Abdriel Delgado (Jacksonville, 2-3, walk) on base, Maginnis doubled to left field in the clutch with two outs and gave Greenville a crucial 8-6 lead after stretch time.

In the 9th, with CPL Select Team member Todd Kniebbe (Florida Atlantic) pitching for the Yard Gnomes, Morehead City challenged one last time as Jatczak doubled again to plate Connor Tucker (Belmont Abbey, 1-5) and in doing so made it a one-run game with two outs. 

With his back against the wall after walking Briggs Rutter (Middle Tennessee State, 1-4) following the Jatczak double, Kniebbe got Kamau Neighbors (Louisville) to fly out to right field to end the game as the righty from Debary, Florida withstood the pressure and earned his fourth save of the season.  

Zayd Brannigan (Georgia Gwinnett College) was the other notable multi-hit Greenville bat in the winning effort as he went 2-4.

RHP Nick Taddei (St. Johns River State College) got the win for the Yard Gnomes, his first of the summer, as he faced three Marlins and registered one walk and one strikeout. Lefty Tai Atkins (University of Hawaii) took the loss for Morehead City as the southpaw from Kohala, Hawai’i faced four from Greenville while surrendering two hits and two earned runs.

The Yard Gnomes are off on Monday and Tuesday before they host the Peninsula Pilots (20-8) on Wednesday (July 3rd) for a pre-Independence Day showdown. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM at Guy Smith Stadium as the Pilots and Yard Gnomes will meet for the eighth time this season.

Notes: Total game time was two hours and fifty-five minutes