Monday, August 2nd, 2010
By Gary R. Rasberry
Mariners complete season splitting four
The Grand Lake Mariners saw their slim chances to qualify for the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League playoffs slip away after splitting four games over the weekend against Southern Ohio and Licking County.
On Saturday in the final two games of the summer at Jim Hoess Field, Grand Lake fell 1-0 before winning the nightcap 6-5 in 10 innings. On Sunday, the Mariners split two with league-leading Licking County, losing game one 3-2 before claiming victory in game two, 7-0.
The Mariners end the regular season at 18-22 and out of postseason contention in eighth place. Licking County will be the top seed for the six-team GLSCL playoffs with a record of 29-11. Hamilton (25-15), Southern Ohio (23-14), Stark County (21-19), Delaware (19-19) and Cincinnati (17-19) complete the field for the GLSCL postseason, which starts Tuesday.
One-run ballgames have been the bane of the Grand Lake Mariners this season.
The Mariners played in 13 one-run games going into Saturday's doubleheader, with a 5-8 record in those games.
Grand Lake's frustration continued Saturday, as a solid pitching game from the Mariners' Brennan Glass was for naught and Southern Ohio won a 1-0 contest in the twinbill opener.
The Mariners got a bit of redemption in the nightcap, rallying back to force extra innings before using a perfect squeeze bunt to score the gamewinner in the 10th for a 6-5 triumph.
"We've been on the wrong side of (one-run games) 9-10 times," said Mariners skipper Joe Marker. "Them are tough to take, especially that first game where Brennan goes out there and pitches a whale of a game and we can't get any offense for him."
Glass came up with one of his best performances of the season, going the distance while allowing six hits and one walk.
The Copperheads broke the scoreless tie in the sixth. Ryan Jones led off getting hit by Glass and Bryan Barnes followed with a single to right-centerfield, putting Jones at third. Robbie Moir brought in Jones with a single that ricocheted off Glass' foot and stayed in the infield.
Luis Pollorena shut the Mariners down for six innings, walking two and striking out three. Former Bath standout Zach Sterling threw a perfect ninth, striking out Ryan Schlater to end the game.
"That game was a great pitching battle," said Marker. "A great game to be in, but we had our chances in the first game (stranded five baserunners)."
The first six innings of game two were again a pitching duel between Mariners starter Nick Bruns, who allowed two runs in five innings of work, and Copperhead starter Andy Carter.
Southern Ohio lead 4-0 going to the bottom of the seventh when the Mariners made a game of it. Grand Lake sent eight to the plate and took advantage of an RBI single by Cory Klenke and a bases-loaded walk to Kirby Campbell that cut the Southern Ohio lead to 4-3.
The Copperheads scored one in the eighth to make it a two-run game and took the lead into the bottom of the ninth. After reliever Addison Dunn got the first out, he gave up walks to Corey Hough and Jensen Painter before hitting Kevin Bower to load the bases. Schlater stepped in and took four straight balls to score Hough, making the score 5-4.
Trey Popp came on to pitch to Andrew Carpenter, who lofted a deep fly to center that scored Painter to tie the game. Klenke walked to load the bases for Cale Marker, who struck out to send the game to extra innings.
After Adam Beach shut down Southern Ohio in the top of the 10th, the Mariners continued their late-game surge.
Campbell singled to start the 10th inning and Cameron Stykemain followed with a single, with both runners moving up a base on a throwing error. After an out, Popp intentionally walked Painter to load the bases to set up a doubleplay. Kevin Franchetti, who came in for Bower after Bower was hurt getting hit in the ninth, stepped up for his first plate appearance. After working the count to 1-1, Campbell came scurrying down the third-base line as Franchetti laid down the perfect bunt. The throw home was not even close as Campbell scored and ended the game.
"We stranded enough guys at third base with less than two outs," said Marker. "I wasn't going to go any longer. Kevin executed the squeeze and we were able to get on the right side of a one-run game."
Beach threw 3 1/3 innings of relief, walking two and allowing one unearned run, to pick up his first win of the summer in four decisions.
"He was going to be it (the rest of the game) because we had nobody else in the pen," said Marker. "He knew it was his game to win or lose. He did a heckuva job for us."
Klenke went 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored in the second game while Schlater added two hits.
Grand Lake's season ended with a split at Lancaster's Beavers Field after field conditions were not favorable at Newark.
In the opening game, Grand Lake scored twice in the top of the third, only to have Licking County tie things in the fourth. The Settlers then scored on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth for a 3-2 win.
The Mariners did end the regular season with a win in game two as four Mariners pitchers combined on a two-hitter in a 7-0 triumph.
In the first game, Grand Lake got RBI singles from Cale Marker and Cameron Stykemain in the third to go up 2-0. In the fourth, however, the Settlers rallied for two runs off Mariners starter Jon Richard, thanks to a pair of Grand Lake errors.
In the eighth, Licking County's Wes Meadows led off the bottom of the inning with a single and then John McCambridge followed by reaching on an error. Ross Gerdeman came in to try to get out of the jam, but Davis Schwabe reached on another Grand Lake error to load the bases for Adam Walker. Gerdeman walked Walker to bring home the winning run.
Marker, batting out of the leadoff spot, went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
In the finale, Gerdeman stayed on the mound and started for the Mariners, throwing three innings to pick up his fifth win of the summer.
Chase Rihtarchik allowed the first Settler hit in his one inning of work before Jordan Liette threw two innings and Jensen Painter closed things out. The quartet allowed two hits and one walk in the shutout.
The Mariners scored one in the top of the first and another run in the fifth before closing the game with five runs in the top of the seventh.
Corey Hough went 2-for-4 in the game while Bruns made the start in center and drove in two runs. Klenke added two runs scored with Jensen Painter adding an RBI.
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