Thursday, July 24th, 2008
By Ryan Hines
Mariners get swept by Southern Ohio
Grand Lake's aspirations to make the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League playoffs took a major hit on Wednesday at Jim Hoess Field.
Southern Ohio swept the season series from Grand Lake after a 9-3 win and an 11-0 pasting that leaves the Mariners in the cellar of the GLSCL with just eight games left to play.
The Copperheads (14-15), outscored the Mariners 36-13 in their four-game season series and Southern Ohio's rollar-coaster season continues. Southern Ohio is on a six-game winning streak and is now within a game of the sixth place, which is the final postseason berth in the six-team playoffs.
The twinbill sweep leaves a bad taste in Grand Lake manager Zach Schmidt's mouth.
"We're just really frustrated right now," said Schmidt. "We have a few guys that come to the park and do the right things every day, but if you don't have a majority going in the right direction, it's tough. When it comes down to it, it's the players that have to go out there and play and play with pride in everything that they do. Either you produce or you don't and right now were not producing."
Southern Ohio led wire-to-wire in both games and never held a lead that was fewer than four runs as the Copperheads dominated the stat sheet. The Copperheads outhit the Mariners 27-4 in the two games while batting through the order on three different occasions.
There were three innings that sunk the Mariners on Wednesday. Southern Ohio scored five runs in the second inning and three more in the fifth frame during the first game and then exploded for 11 runs in the first inning of the second game and were never threatened thereafter.
Southern Ohio 9, Grand Lake 3
Southern Ohio 9, Grand Lake 3
Grand Lake ace pitcher Michael Kellar was never able to find his rhythm on the mound and Southern Ohio responded in the second inning. The Copperheads sent 10 men to the plate in the second inning and scored five runs on five hits. Kevan Hess and Coldwater native Chad Geier highlighted the five-run frame with a two-run triple and a two-run single.
After a pair of scoreless innings, Southern Ohio put Grand Lake away with a three-run fifth inning in which the Copperheads sent nine men to the plate. Hess again led the offensive outburst with a two-run double.
Kellar went just 4 1/3 innings for the Mariners allowing eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits with five walks.
In addition to Hess' two hits and four RBI, Geier enjoyed his return to Mercer County with three hits and three RBI.
Grand Lake could only manage three hits in the game off of Ricky Marshall and Joe Stilphen. Brian Suerdick, Ryan Frazee and Brett Burch had singles to account for the Mariners' offense.
Southern Ohio 11, Grand Lake 0
Any chance at a Mariners split in the doubleheader was quickly voided after the Copperheads erupted for 11 runs in the first inning. The first five Southern Ohio batters reached base and scored, along with 10 of the first 11 overall.
"The way that they were able to string together hits was something that you don't see very often," said Schmidt. "I've never been a part of a game like that and I can't remember ever watching something like that. They put the bat on the ball and that's something that we didn't do at all over the course of the two games."
Mike Vaughn was the only Southern Ohio starter in the first game to not get a hit, but the Copperheads' cleanup hitter had a double, triple and five RBI in the first inning alone in game two. Bobby Jacobs, who had not driven in a run all summer coming into the game, added a three-run double in the first.
Versailles native Jordan Liette was tagged with the loss after allowing nine runs, eight earned, on six hits in just 1/3 of an inning.
Grand Lake reliever Nic Jensen, who also threw 1 2/3 innings in the first game, kept Southern Ohio scoreless in 5 2/3 innings of work in game two allowing eight hits.
The Mariners offense was never able to get to Southern Ohio starter Corey Harness, as the Copperheads' righthander went six shutout innings allowing just one hit with nine strikeouts and just one walk. Chuck Boring pitched a perfect ninth to complete the one-hitter for the Copperheads.
Trevor Willis had the lone hit for Grand Lake, a single in the third inning.
Grand Lake will try to halt a three-game slide tonight as they travel to Anderson for a doubleheader against the Servants. The Mariners will then hit the road again for a date with the first-place Cincinnati Steam on Friday before returning home on Sunday to Jim Hoess Field for a 2 p.m. single game against Lake Erie.
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