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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Grand Lake unable to dig out of four-run hole after first inning

By Gary R. Rasberry

Grand Lake catcher Kevin Franchetti, top, tags out Lake Erie's Kurt Farmer at ho. . .

CELINA - A rough start to the game overshadowed a tremendous Grand Lake comeback effort in the latter innings as the Mariners drop their second straight game with a 5-4 loss to Lake Erie in Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League action on Tuesday at Jim Hoess Field.
The Mariners drop to 2-4 as the Monarchs improve to 5-3-1 on the season.
Grand Lake dug itself a hole before even taking its first turn at the plate. Mariners starting pitcher Matt Igel struggled getting the ball into the strike zone and walked six of the eight batters he faced, giving up four runs in 2/3 of an inning.
Following Igel's tough start, the Grand Lake bullpen, which went through six pitchers in Sunday's split at Southern Ohio, shut down the Monarchs. Adam Beach, who struggled in his start on Sunday, came on to get out of the first inning.
After giving up a run in the second, Beach was solid, throwing 51/3 innings of relief, allowing six hits and three walks, but only one run. Corey Hough and Brennan Glass finished the game on the hill for the Mariners, combining to allow just one hit and a walk over the final three innings.
"Any time your starting pitcher can't get out of the first inning it doesn't bode well for the rest of the game," said Mariners assistant coach Jeff Hahn, filling in for field manager Joe Marker. "Really, the highlight is the bullpen coming in and for 81/3 (innings), keeping it to where we were."
The Mariners got one run back in the fourth when Parkway grad Jensen Painter reached base on a one-out triple and later scored on a wild pitch.
The big rally for Grand Lake came in the eighth inning. With one away, Kevin Bower laced a triple to right. Cale Marker followed with a triple of his own to score Bower while cutting the deficit to 5-2.
After John Bonvillian reached on a walk, Ryan Schlater tripled in two runs to cut the Lake Erie lead to 5-4. The Mariners continued to threaten when Cam Stykemain was hit by a pitch and Patrick Harshman loaded the bases by reaching base on a fielder's choice. The threat ended quickly, though, as Ryan Brenner lined out to Monarchs third baseman Bill Charvat, who threw to first to double up Harshman and end the inning.
The Mariners had plenty of chances to score late in the game. Over the last five innings, Grand Lake stranded eight runners, 10 overall in the game.
"You can't strand as many baserunners as we did, you have to try and find a way to get those guys in," said Hahn.
Schlater came off the bench to go 2-for-2 in the game for Grand Lake with two RBI. Alex Johnson of Lake Erie went 3-for-5 with a triple and two doubles.
The Mariners will look to prevent a three-game losing streak on Thursday, when rival Lima comes to Jim Hoess Field for the first time this season.
Additional online story on this date
GRAND LAKE - Floating wetland mats containing about 10,000 aquatic plants are being installed at five locations in Grand Lake.
The interconnected mats are made of foam and contain holes where the plants are placed. [More]
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