FLORENCESC – The Florence Flamingos were able to squeeze in in their game against Holly Springs on Friday night – dropping a 2-1 decision in a game that was delayed an hour and a half.
Weather was the problem again, and it was a recurring theme in the second half of the season as the Flamingos played just 14 of their originally scheduled 19 competitions.
Some of the games they completed were also delayed or even postponed during this time span and made up as doubleheaders.
The 14 games played is the fewest of any Coastal Plain League team in the second half — two behind the next closest team, Wilmington. It also means Florence has played the fewest games of any CPL team at 37.
Friday’s game was highlighted by pitching from both sides. Four Holly Springs hurlers combined allowed just one run in four hits, while four Flamingo pitchers combined gave up two runs in six hits.
Francesco Barbieri put Florence first on the board when he doubled, stole third base and came home from a Salamanders error to give the Flamingos a 1-0 lead.
That was it in terms of offense, however. Starter Dylan Blomquist and assists Matt McDade, Leo Giannoni and Michael Foltz only conceded three hits the rest of the way – with McDade, Giannoni and Foltz all conceding just one hit combined.
The quartet also fanned out 13 Florence batters while going three. Florence’s only other real threat came late in the eighth when Tyler reached Christmas and Barbieri to set up two runners with no outs, but Foltz got out of the jam unharmed.
For the Flamingos, starter Andrew Imperatore threw five shutout innings to open the game. He walked two, batted two and gave up two hits.
But Holly Springs came out on top in sixth place for two runs thanks to a two-run homer by Eddie Eisert against Scout Updike.
That was all the Salamanders could take offense at, however, as Blake Shepardson and Myles Brown closed the door the rest of the way.
The Flamingos (5-9 second half, 13-24 overall) have just eight games and just two home games left in the 2022 season. Florence host Wilmington on Tuesday at 7pm before ending the year against Macon on July 30 at 7pm.
MLB drafts 38 current/former CPL players
The CPL had a total of 38 current and former players selected in this year’s Major League Baseball draft, which took place earlier this week.
Topping the list was former Virginia Tech Peninsula outfielder Gavin Cross. He finished ninth overall for the Kansas City Royals — the seventh straight year that a CPL player was selected in the first round.
Cross batted .313 for the pilots in summer 2020 on a shortened schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CPL had 23 players selected in the first 10 rounds, led by Peninsula and Savannah with seven players each. Ex-pilot Tanner Schobel was brought in by the Minnesota Twins in the competitive balance B round.
High Point-Thomasville’s Carson Whisenhunt (East Carolina) was picked early in the second round by the San Francisco Giants for No. 66 overall.
Sharks’ Mendolia, Bacon’s Cariaco deserve weekly awards
Wilmington slugger AJ Mendolia and Macon left-hander Peyton Cariaco recently received the CPL’s weekly tribute for their efforts.
Mendolia was named Batsman of the Week after leading the league with a .625 average. He had 10 hits, including two doubles and a home run. The Central Arkansas infielder also had eight runs, driving four times and walking four times.
He ended the week with a .938 slugging percentage and a .750 basis percentage for an OPS of 1.688.
Cariaco has since been named Pitcher of the Week. He made two appearances for the Bacon, including a complete game shutout against Lexington County on July 16 in the opening game of a doubleheader.
He pitched 9 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits and knocking out eight.