Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
By Gary R. Rasberry
Mariners lose another one-run game to Scouts
CELINA - When Grand Lake and Xenia have gotten together so far this season, nine innings have just not been enough.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, none of the extra-inning finishes have been happy.
The Scouts scored one run in the top of the 10th inning to beat the Mariners, 6-5, in Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League action at Jim Hoess Field on Monday night.
Xenia, who also beat Grand Lake 3-2 in 11 innings in the league lidlifter on June 11, improves to 6-9 with the win. The Mariners, playing their fourth game over the last three days as part of a grueling 12-game schedule over eight days, drop their second in a row and fall to 4-7.
Mariners skipper Joe Marker was a bit frustrated with yet another one-run loss, the fifth of the season. Grand Lake had a number of opportunities to gain the lead, but left six runners on base over the last five innings, including the bases loaded in the sixth.
"We've got to start finding a way to win those one-run ballgames," said Marker, whose team is 2-5 in league games decided by just a run. "We're not coming up with the clutch hits. We went 5-6 innings without getting a guy on. We've got to do a better job of situational hitting. It's that simple."
The trend of the game was one team answering the other team's run in quick fashion. Through five innings, the score was deadlocked at 2-all as Mariners starter Patrick Veerkamp scattered two hits and three walks over five innings.
Sam Slavik came on to pitch the sixth, but the Coldwater alum was hampered by a throwing error that resulted in two unearned runs, putting the Scouts up 4-2.
Grand Lake quickly rebounded with a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth. Jensen Painter, Corey Hough and Cory Klenke came up with consecutive two-out singles to load the bases. Scouts starter Kenneth Stockton then walked Kevin Franchetti to cut the deficit to 4-3 and Cale Marker followed with a walk of his own to tie the game. The rally ended when Celina native John Bonvillian flied out to right while leaving the bases full.
Xenia scored again in the top of the seventh, coming on a rare catcher's interference with the bases loaded, but Grand Lake came back with the equalizer in the bottom of the eighth. Painter lofted a short fly to rightfield that the Scout defense could not track down in the lights, allowing Painter to go to second. Hough moved pinch-runner Cam Stykemain to third on a grounder. Mariners pinch-hitter Kevin Bowers then lofted his third sacrifice fly of the season for his 10th RBI as Stykemain easily scored to tie the game at 5-all.
Brennan Glass came in to pitch a perfect ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, Bonvillian and Ryan Brenner hit consecutive one-out singles, but Kirby Campbell popped to first base and Patrick Harshman grounded out to send the game into extra innings.
Glass started the 10th well with a groundout, but the first pitch to B.J. Willis hit the Scout outfielder. After Willis stole second and Jay Davis flew out, Drake Browne, batting just .160 on the season, took a 0-1 offering down the rightfield line, allowing Willis to score while making it 6-5.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Stykemain was hit by Michael Johnson, but Johnson, who came on in relief of Stockton in the seventh, got three straight flyouts to end the game.
"They'll start going our way soon," said Marker. "We've just got to do a better job of hitting with runners in scoring position."
Bonvillian, Painter and Hough each had two hits for the Mariners.
Grand Lake continues its four-game homestand tonight as league-leading Hamilton comes to Jim Hoess Field for a 7:15 p.m. first pitch.
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