Friday, August 3rd, 2007
Mariners bow out of GLSCL tourney early
By Ryan Hines
COLUMBUS - It was two and out for the Grand Lake Mariners in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League tournament.
Lima called on ace pitcher Matt Bischoff to stave off elimination and the righthander guided the Locos to a 5-1 victory over the defending champion Mariners at Bill Davis Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
Bischoff, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and recently named the GLSCL Lou Laslo Pitcher of the Year, threw seven strong innings allowing just one run on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts to improve to 6-0 on the summer.
"He didn't have his best stuff out there today, but he's a bulldog and that's his mentality when he's out there," said Lima head coach Rob Livchak about his top pitcher. "You get nothing for free from him, he makes the other team work and he's done that all year long."
Grand Lake hurler Brad Piatt matched Bischoff pitch-for-pitch, allowing just an unearned run in the first inning before the Mariners bullpen gave up four runs in three innings.
Piatt went the first six innings allowing five hits and issuing a pair of walks while striking out six, taking a loss on the mound for the first time of the season dropping his record to 6-1.
Lima grabbed the lead in the first inning when back-to-back singles and a crucial Grand Lake error came back to haunt Piatt. With B.J. Holloway on third base and Bryan Bonner on second with one out, Corey Ingle hit the ball back to Piatt on the mound who had Holloway stuck halfway to home plate.
Piatt took a couple of steps toward Holloway, but threw wildly to Michael Earley covering third base and down the leftfield line in what should have been a sure out but turned into a Locos run.
It was the first unearned run of the game, but it wasn't the last as Lima pushed its lead to 3-0 with a pair of unearned runs in the seventh inning off Grand Lake reliever Alex Watson. A Mike Stalowy error and a Watson wild pitch helped spark the two-run inning for Lima.
"Defense just killed us today again," said Grand Lake manager Scott French. "They pitched well and we pitched well. They played good defense (Lima had no errors and Grand Lake had two) but we didn't and that was big."
The Mariners dug into the three-run deficit as a two-out double by Kory Benbow was followed by an RBI single from Michael Stalter pulling Grand Lake to within two runs at 3-1.
The two-run difference turned into a four-run Locos lead in the eighth as Lima scored two more runs off Grand Lake reliever Andrew Shisila. Keenan Wiley had a two-run single with two outs to score Corey Ingle and Scott Boley, both of whom reached base via singles.
Grand Lake's offense stranded eight on base and failed to come up with the clutch hit against Bischoff and Lima reliever Brian Hangbers.
"We didn't hit when we got guys on base and we let Bischoff off the hook, I felt," said French. "Don't get me wrong, he went out there and threw a good game, but we had runners on and didn't hit when we had them on."
Though, disappointed with losing two straight in the tournament, French was happy coaching this team that stood at 9-10 at one point in the season before finishing 23-17.
"I have to tip my hat to these guys," said French about the 2007 squad. "They took care of business in the second half of the season and made it a fun summer with some good baseball. I just wish we could have drug this tournament out a couple of more days."
NOTES - Citing financial reasons, French's days of coaching at the college level and with the Mariners may be ending. "I need to sit and talk with Wayne (Mariners general manager Wayne Miller) and I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but right now I'm leaning toward not coaching next year." ... Grand Lake won the season series against Lima, 3-1 before being ousted by the Locos in the postseason. It reflects a recent trend between the two teams. Lima won the season series during the regular season the previous two years but the Mariners knocked the Locos out of the tournament in those years. ...Kyle Heyne, the 2006 GLSCL tournament Most Valuable Player, threw just one inning this year in the league tourney and it was a 1-2-3 ninth against the Locos.