Clam Slams: Steamers sweep Generals in doubleheader

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Stefan Van Horn hit one of the Edenton Steamers' three grand slams against the Petersburg Generals in Game 2 of a doubleheader, Monday.


Malcolm Shields
Sports Writer

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

EDENTON — Edenton's second game of a doubleheader against Petersburg on Monday night got so out of hand, some Steamers had to pull out their cell phones to video record the madness.

Edenton infielder Trey Hair taking to the mound to pitch in the top of the eight inning, while pitcher Sam Beattie took his fair share of healthy swings at the plate in the bottom of the inning.

The light-hearted moments were possible for the Steamers as they racked up a 26-6 victory at Hicks field.

Earlier in the evening, Edenton won the resumption of a postponed game from last Friday in Petersburg with a 3-0 win in seven innings. With the sweep of the doubleheader, Edenton (9-2 second half, 21-18 overall) won its fifth consecutive game and remain in first place in the Coastal Plain League second half East Division standings.

“They are coming together, finally playing the way they know how to play,” Edenton manager Bryan Hill said. “It is fun to watch. They started to mesh a couple of weeks ago. It is showing in the standings.”

The key to the Steamers' winning streak has been quality pitching along with a red-hot lineup.

Edenton’s 26 runs in a game set a new team record.

Edenton hit five home runs in Game 2 against the Generals.

Three of the homers were grand slams. Edenton third baseman Aaron Aucker hit two of the grand slams for a 2-for-5 game with eight RBIs.

Aucker — a Middle Tennessee State product — said he hit his first-ever grand slam back in the spring for the Blue Raiders.

Monday's contests will be remembered for the sophomore.

“That was the first time that I hit two home runs in a game,” Aucker said.

Designated hitter Stefan Van Horn hit the third grand slam for Edenton.

The Steamers got a solid start from pitcher Coulton Lee.

Lee, who made his second start of the summer, went six innings, registering eight strikeouts with only allowing a run.

“Five innings with the lead is a quality start,” Hill said. “It was great to see him do that.”

His pitching performance followed John Russell's 3 2/3 innings on the mound in Game 1.

“Russell has been lights out almost all year long,” Hill said.

Even with the team's struggles early this summer, Hill felt this type of run was possible.

“We knew that they could be good,” Hill said.

Dean of the Steamers

Arguably one of the most consistent players for Edenton this summer is the most tenured.

Tony Rosselli, who was a member of Edenton's Petitt Cup championship team in 2015, is having another solid summer.

The Indiana State product was selected as the Coastal Plain League Hitter of the Week for July 4 to 10.

Rosselli continued his solid performance at the plate with a 5-for-6 night with a home run, two RBIs and four runs scored against Petersburg in Game 2.

On the season, Rosselli is batting .316 with nine home runs with 28 RBIs.

“He's the guy that they can lean on,” Hill said. “He's going to give a good at-bat every time and play good in the field.”

Rosselli sees some comparisons of the 2016 Steamers to last season's squad.

“Right now, the way we are playing, it is pretty much the same,” he said. “I don't doubt that we can do the same thing this year.”

The Price is Right

Mitchell Price has made an impact during his time with the Steamers. The USC-Aiken product hit a two-run homer in Game 1 and followed with a three-run home run in Game 2 against the Generals.

“He's a spark plug,” Hill said. “He's been a good addition.”

A Washout

Edenton's road contest against Fayetteville on Tuesday was postponed because of weather.

The game is slated to be a part of a doubleheader on August 6 in Edenton.