Monday night’s matchup between the Macon Bacon and the Fayetteville Swampdogs was supposed to be a narrow battle. Both entered the game at second in their CPL division, and by run differential, Fayetteville was one of the better teams in the league.
That assessment of the game was good for a while. Ryan Kouba and the Swampdog’s opener, Matt Vonderschmidt dueled for three scoreless innings until the fourth.
Swampdog right fielder Pierce Howard singled with one out in the inning to break up Kouba’s short no-hit bid. Alex Kachler walked, then Brandon Talley singled to right to drive in Fayetteville’s first and only run of the night.
The bad mojo began on that RBI single. Howard injured himself sliding on the play and was replaced in the fourth along with the pitcher Vonderschmidt. Headliner Justin Ruble was the new pitcher, and the game turned sour for Fayetteville.
Jared Miller singled and stole second base, extending his hitting streak to six games. Miller was at second for two Macon strikeouts before Daniel Harris came to the plate. Harris took an inside fastball out for a ride, parking it in the Swampdog bullpen to put Macon up 2-1. Harris, a power hitting middle infielder from Eastern Kentucky University, had not homered at Luther Williams this year.
From there, the floodgates opened. In the final three innings of the seven inning game, Macon scored 11 runs in innings five, six, and seven on 13 hits. Highlights included Calvin Estrada’s league leading 16th double, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. Estrada scored from second base on an infield hit for the second night, and he also stole two bases.
Ryan Kouba received the win, his fourth, by pitching into the sixth, allowing only two hits. Logan Carter pitched a perfect four outs against his former team to close out the mercy rule win.
Macon improved to a half-game behind Savannah at the top of the CPL South, and are now tied with Savannah in the second half standings.
Macon’s next game is at home against the Florence RedWolves on Wednesday. Coverage starts at 6:50 on CPLBaseball.tv