Saturday, June 9th, 2007
Mariners lose opener to Locos
By Ryan Hines
Grand Lake second baseman Mike Stalowy fields a ground ball and throws to first. . .
LIMA - After a pair of easy wins in exhibition play, the 2007 Grand Lake Mariners tasted defeat for the first time, 3-2, in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League opener at Shawnee High School in Lima.
The Mariners beat Geneva and the Allen Express by a combined score of 20-7 in the past two days but Grand Lake fell victim to Lima's small ball in a tight game from the start.
The Locos broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh with a run, which proved to be the game-winner.
Lima designated hitter Bryan Bonner drew a lead-off walk from Grand Lake relief pitcher Ryan Kruszka and Bonner was replaced on the basepaths by the speedy Eric Moore.
A Kruszka wild pitched moved Moore to second base and Moore swiped third base before James Teas broke him home on a fielder's choice. Teas grounded to second base and the throw from Grand Lake's Mike Stalowy was a split-second late to the plate as Moore slid in safely for a 3-2 Locos lead.
"They kind of small-balled us today," said Grand Lake manager Scott French. "Used their bunt game and their run game to manufacture some runs. It worked for them."
Lima grabbed the early lead when Jacob Robbins doubled in the first, stole third and trotted home on an RBI groundout by Celina native Scott Boley.
However, Grand Lake took the lead in the fourth frame when the Mariners touched up Lima starter Matt Bischoff, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year from the University of Purdue, for a pair of runs.
The Mariners started the fourth frame with three straight singles, the third of which by Dock Doyle, brought home the tying run. Brooks Hunton then brought home the go-ahead run with a two-out RBI single for a 2-1 Mariners lead.
Lima tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth inning. Celina native Sean Boley got the rally started by reaching base on a bunt single. Boley went to second base on a sacrifice bunt and then moved to third base on a fielder's choice. Antonio Calloway came up clutch for the Locos then with a two-out RBI single.
Once Grand Lake chased Bischoff after four innings, Adam Quinn came out of the Locos bullpen and was just nasty for his four innings of work. Quinn, the winning pitcher in the contest, allowed no runs and just one hit while striking out five. J.R. Peck closed the door for the Locos in the ninth inning for the save.
French was impressed with the pitching on both sides of the diamond.
"The offense is going to be behind in this league for the first week at least, but both teams got good pitching and that made it a tight game," said French. "I thought both of our guys threw well and they (Lima) got some good pitching too."
NOTE - Grand Lake veteran catcher Dock Doyle was drafted by the Atlanta Braves with the 1,309th pick in the 44th round. Doyle's future with the Mariners this summer will depend on his decision on whether or not to sign a contract with the Braves.