Monday, July 30th, 2012
By Ryan Hines
Mariners finish the season with a sweep
CELINA - It may have been a disappointing season overall but the Grand Lake Mariners finished the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League campaign on a positive note with a pair of one-run wins.
Grand Lake swept Southern Ohio 4-3 and 9-8 on Saturday and closed the summer by winning seven of its final eight games to avoid a last-place finish in the GLSCL. The Mariners completed the summer 15-23, 8 1/2 games behind the GLSCL-leading trio of Cincinnati, Lima and Licking County (all with 24-15 records) and 2 1/2 games ahead of last-place Hamilton (13-26).
"There's no doubt that we didn't play the type of baseball we wanted to play the whole summer, but it sure was nice to see the guys put it together here recently," said Grand Lake's manager Mike Goldschmidt. "We ended the summer on a positive note and the guys deserve a lot of credit for battling all the way to the end. We battled through a lot of injuries throughout the season and had some tough times, but they showed a lot of heart and finished strong."
It took a strong finish to win Saturday's opener against Southern Ohio as Grand Lake held a 3-0 lead going into the seventh inning before the Copperheads scored three runs to tie the score. Mariners' starting pitcher Tim Faix was untouchable on the hill for the first six innings as he allowed just two hits with seven strikeouts before the three-run rally by the Copperheads.
"Tim was dominant out there. He made it look easy and pitched the way that we knew he could," said Goldschmidt. "His breaking ball was filthy and he pitched a great game."
The score remained tied until Grand Lake finally put Southern Ohio away in the 11th inning. Jacob Reese singled, Ryan Blanchard was hit by a pitch and Dan Przeniczny singled to load the bases with no outs. After one out was recorded, Tyler Jordan hit a soft liner to rightfield and the ball was dropped by the Copperheads' Matt Borgschulte to allow Blanchard to score the game-winning run.
St. Marys' native Trevor Kill pitched 4 2/3 shutout innings out of the Mariners' bullpen and earned the win after giving up just four hits and striking out seven.
"It would have been heart-breaking for us to lose that first game after leading 3-0 and getting the great pitching from Tim and Trevor," said Goldschmidt. "Trevor came in and threw the ball great and gave us a chance to make a comeback to get the win."
Reese had a big game at the plate for the Mariners with 5-for-6 performance and five singles.
Grand Lake jumped in front 2-0 in game two before Southern Ohio rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the top of the third inning.
The Copperheads' lead didn't last long as the Mariners rallied to score five runs with two outs in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead for good. Przeniczny, Roman Gammell and Jordan each laced two-out RBI singles before Zack Edel ripped a two-run triple to give Grand Lake a 7-2 advantage.
"Scoring five runs with outs shows the type of heart that these guys play with," said Goldschmidt. "We took a good approach at the plate and then put a nice short swing on the ball to keep the rally going."
Kyle Haen added a two-run single for the Mariners in the fifth inning and the two insurance runs were needed as Southern Ohio closed to within one run at 9-8 in the final inning with the tying run at second base before Grand Lake's reliever Dan Ditusa struck out his third Copperhead of the inning.
Edel was the offensive leader in the nightcap for the Mariners with a 3-for-3 showing and four RBI.
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Partly cloudy, scattered showers
Partly cloudy, scattered showers