Despite getting a pair of two-run homers from first baseman Josh Falk (South Dakota St) and catcher Richard Ortiz (Grambling St), the Martinsville Mustangs couldn't overcome five errors and fell 10-6 to the Forest City Owls on Wednesday night at Hooker Field.
The Mustangs (6-8, 17-22) fell into an early 6-0 hole after the Owls scored three in the first, another in the third and two more in the fourth off starter AJ Merkel (Oklahoma Baptist).
Merkel, making his second start in a Mustangs uniform, allowed six runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking three in five innings of work.
Trailing 6-0, Falk crushed his team-high sixth home run of the summer over the scoreboard in left to put the Mustangs on the board. In the fifth, following a single by Chase Dawson (Valparaiso), Ortiz sent his first homer of the summer out to left to trim the deficit to just two, 6-4.
A combination of three Mustangs relievers, Michael Byrne (San Jacinto), Charles Hasty (Wayne St College) and Greg Leban (Austin Peay) allowed four runs in the final three innings to make it 10-5 entering the bottom of the ninth.
Despite bringing the tying run to the plate in the eighth and ninth, the Mustangs couldn't rally any further and dropped the final home meeting of the season with the Owls, 10-6.
Martinsville will return to Hooker Field on Thursday night, hosting the Gastonia Grizzlies for the first time this summer on Hometown Heroes Night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
The Martinsville Mustangs are celebrating 14 summers of baseball at historic Hooker Field in 2018. Follow the Mustangs @MVilleMustangs on Twitter and @MartinsvilleMustangs on Facebook and Instagram. The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Heading into its 22nd season in 2018, the CPL features 16 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 113 alums – including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor – make their Major League debut. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at CoastalPlain.com