Yard Gnomes Baseball

“Holly Springs Rides Five-Run Second Inning, Strong Pitching In 9-3 Win Over Greenville”

June 8, 2024  |  12:10 AM
Written by: Corey Hodges (Play-By-Play/Communications, X: @The_CoreyHodges)


Weather spoiled the show for Holly Springs (4-9) on Thursday in a rain-shortened five inning loss to Greenville (2-12) at Ting Stadium.

One night later, the same two teams played a full regulation game, this time at Guy Smith Stadium in Greenville, NC on Friday night, and the Salamanders got their (lizard) lick back.

In an interesting coincidence, it was the second inning on Thursday that largely decided Greenville’s 10-4 win over Holly Springs as the Yard Gnomes snapped a 10-game skid behind a five-run second and fifth before the weather intervened.

Flash forward to Friday and a five-run 2nd by Holly Springs had the Salamanders leading by a comfortable margin early in the back half of a home and home with Greenville.

Carter Owens (Morehead State, 2-5, RBI) led off the second with a homerun to right (his first launch of the season) for Holly Springs, an effort that set the tone for the frame as four more runs plated behind a Safea Mauai (Chaminade, 2-4, two RBI) double that drove in Anthony Mitta (Mount Olive, 2-4), a bases-loaded walk by Danny Stephens (Longwood) that forced home Mauai and a two-run scoring single off the bat of Elijah Dickerson (Towson, 1-4, two RBI) that in turn brought Nolan Wilson (Nevada, 1-3, RBI) and Kristofers Sydlowski (Wake Tech CC, 1-3) across.

Mitta plated again in the third off of a Safea Mauai single which answered Greenville’s run in the home second. Holly Springs again picked up the phone in the 5th as a Yard Gnomes run in the 4th was equaled by Nolan Wilson who singled in Mitta to cap a three-run night for the Mount Olive Trojan.

Two mistakes by Greenville in the 9th, including the final of four total errors by the home team, assisted Holly Springs in scoring twice late to put the capper on an evening that saw the Salamanders commit one error of their own while scoring nine runs off of nine base hits.

Almost everything on Friday was an inverse of Thursday as Holly Springs went from being outhit at home the night prior to outhitting Greenville. Three errors by the Salamanders at home on Thursday were cut to just one on Friday. The cleanup on both sides of the ball moved the visitors from just south of Raleigh to 2-1 on the season against Greenville.

Of particular note for Holly Springs was the effort from two-way player Carter Owens who not only pitched on Friday for his club (3.2 IP, six strikeouts) but also compiled one of three total multi-hit performances as the Salamanders’ DH. Mitta and Mauai had the other two-hit nights for the visitors.

Owens, who pitched to an ERA of 7.42 in almost 44 innings with 36 strikeouts and 25 walks for the Eagles this spring, logged his first appearance of the Coastal Plain League season on the mound against Greenville and should fit in nicely as a player who can do both for Holly Springs.

RHP Kevin Schoneboom (UCF) got the start on the bump for Holly Springs and logged almost five full innings (4.2 IP, 3 ER, two walks, five strikeouts) before he was relived by fellow righty Witt Branham (Mount Olive) who got the win.

Greenville showed more speed on the bases in the loss to the Salamanders on Friday as Joe Siervo (Western Kentucky, 1-4) swiped three bags to answer the swift performance by Gage Griggs (John A. Logan College) from the night prior (five stolen bases at Holly Springs on Thursday). Siervo now leads the Yard Gnomes in bases pilfered (nine), exactly one third of the team total (27).

Sean Darnell (UNC Charlotte, 3-3, two RBI) led the way for Greenville offensively as he followed up a 2-3, two RBI showing at Holly Springs on Thursday with an even better hitting display one night later.

RHP Logan Simmons (Houston) started his third game of the season for Greenville and lasted for two innings (5 ER, three walks and a strikeout in the loss) before Preston Chaudoin (Murray State) entered in relief. The sophomore righty from Herndon, Kentucky more than doubled his previous high in punchouts on the season as he collected six in four strong innings while only surrendering four hits and one earned run with a walk.

Greenville will play the second of three straight at home on Saturday night as the Wilmington Sharks (8-3) will make their first visit to Guy Smith Stadium this season. The same two teams last met on May 25th when Wilmington scored a 5-3 win at Buck Hardee Field. First pitch on Military Appreciation Night is slated for 6:30 PM in Greenville.


NOTES: Total game time was three hours and seven minutes with a 17-minute delay.