No. 9 sports story of 2018 | Steamers make a run at Petitt Cup Playoffs
By Malcolm Shields
Sunday, December 23, 2018
The 2018 season saw the Edenton Steamers once again field a talented team that was in the chase to clinch a berth into the Petitt Cup Playoffs.
The Clams’ 2018 campaign is The Daily Advance’s No. 9 sports story of 2018.
Before the 2018 season began, Edenton welcomed a new manager in Russ Burroughs.
He took over for Dustin Coffman, who led Edenton for the 2017 campaign.
Burroughs was no stranger to Steamers baseball as he previously served as a pitching coach for the team during the 2017 season.
Along with a new manager, Edenton was placed in a new division.
With the Coastal Plain League adding a 16th team in the Macon Bacon for the 2018 campaign, Edenton moved from the CPL East the newly created CPL North Division.
The new division featured the Clams, Peninsula, Wilson and Martinsville.
Edenton began the first half of the season by losing eight of its first 10 games.
The Steamers rallied to end the first half with a 12-14 record and finished the half in second place.
Edenton infielder Rich Ciufo was named to the CPL Select team that faced the USA College National baseball team in Cary in late June.
Edenton had four players selected to the 2018 CPL All-Star game at Lexington County.
Ciufo, Zane Harris, Jake Miller and Charles Hall were selected to the game.
Edenton’s Devon Gardner won the fan vote and became the Clams’ fifth representative at the contest.
Just like the first half, Edenton began the second half with a lengthy losing streak and a 2-6 record.
The Clams along with the CPL were not helped out by Mother Nature in the final weeks of the season as multiple games were either canceled or postponed for multiple teams due to inclement weather.
Edenton ended the second half with a 12-12 record to finish in third place in the division.
The Steamers finished 1 ½ games behind Wilson for the second-half championship.
Wilson and Peninsula, which won the division first half championship, played in the division semifinal round of the CPL Playoffs.
Edenton ended its season in early August with a 24-26 overall record.
The 2018 season marked the second time in three seasons that the Steamers missed the Petitt Cup Playoffs.
Despite that, Edenton had four players earn all-CPL honors.
Pitchers Ben Anderson and Miller were selected to the league’s first team, while Ciufo and Harris earned all-CPL second team honors.