Friday, July 29th, 2011
By Gary R. Rasberry
Mariners' losing skid reaches nine
CELINA - Just when it looked like Grand Lake would find a way to snap its long losing streak, defeat found a way to prevail once again for the Mariners.
Stark County had game-winning rallies in the top of the seventh inning of both games on Thursday as the Terriers earned a doubleheader sweep of the Mariners by scores of 6-5 and 6-2 at Jim Hoess Field.
The Mariners, who have lost nine in a row, drop to 10-26 on the season and are one loss away from tying the team record for futility when the 2002 team finished 13-27. The Terriers improve to 17-21.
"We got behind the first game and then fought back," said Mariners' manager Mike Goldschmidt. "We did some good things and, just like all year, couldn't get that one hit.
"We had chances (and) opportunities. Second game, again, we were in it. We're leading, do some good things. ... Again, we falter. We find ways to lose. That's the bottom line. That's just frustrating."
Terriers 6, Mariners 5
Terriers 6, Mariners 5
The first game looked to be a rout early as Stark County battered Preston Zachrich for five runs on three hits and three walks in the first inning. Zachrich, however, shut down the Terriers for the next 3 1/3 innings, allowing Grand Lake a chance to rally.
After getting one run in the second inning, the Mariners picked up two more tallies in the third on an RBI double by Dan Marcuzzo and a Kyle Thomas RBI sacrifice fly.
In the fourth, the Mariners tied the game when John Bowron scored on a Jack Scanlon single and Marcuzzo came home on a Stark County error.
Mariners' relief pitcher Luke Langdon, who came in with one out in the fifth, threw a scoreless sixth and got the first out of the seventh before the Terriers' Mark Lapikis singled to center. Paul Pakan followed with a deep shot to right-centerfield for an RBI double, easily allowing Lapikis to scamper home with the winning run.
Grant McCoury came on to pitch the seventh for the Terriers in relief of Chris Thomas and struck out Scanlon before walking Jason Bagoly. McCoury closed out the save by getting Thomas to ground into a double play.
Cory Klenke, who has struggled at the plate all season, went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles while Marcuzzo and Bowron each added two hits.
Terriers 6, Mariners 2
Terriers 6, Mariners 2
The nightcap started out as a pitching duel between the Terriers' Payne Alderman and the Mariners' Chris Waha.
Stark County scored first when Forrest Johnson cross home plate on a Grand Lake error in the second inning, but the Mariners tied things in the third when Andrew Elliott came home on a Bagoly sac fly.
Grand Lake broke the 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth when Elliott came home on Brian Robinson's single to right-centerfield to make the score 2-1.
Waha got out of a jam in the top of the sixth to maintain the Mariners' lead, then turned things over to Blake Bottoms in the seventh to try and snap the eight-game skid. Bottoms got the first out, but then gave up two straight singles and a walk to load the bases for Pakan, who popped out to first for the second out.
That, however, would be the last highlight for the Mariners in the inning, as Johnson drew a walk to bring home the tying run. McCoury, playing first base in the second game, singled in two more runs to make it 4-2 in favor of the Terriers before R.J. Vukovich singled in two more runs to make it 6-3.
"You just see so many flaws," said Goldschmidt, who had to watch from outside the fence after getting ejected late in the first game. "Again, end of the year, the guys are in it until they're behind. Just, hopefully we can finish strong the last couple of days."
McCoury moved to the mound for the bottom of the inning, and after walking Bowron, struck out the next three batters for his second save of the day.
The Mariners wrap up the home schedule tonight as Lima comes to town for a 7:15 p.m. first pitch. Grand Lake wraps up the season this weekend with a doubleheader at Stark County on Saturday followed by a single game against Licking County in Newark on Sunday.
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