Thursday, June 12th, 2014
By Gary R. Rasberry
Mariners' bats get going early
Grand Lake collects 15 hits in beating Hustlers
CELINA - The old adage "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home" rang true for the Grand Lake Mariners on Wednesday night.
The Mariners belted 15 base hits and got strong pitching from Peter Munger and Jack Rose in beating Lexington 10-4 at Montgomery Field.
Grand Lake has won two straight games in moving above the .500 mark at 4-3. The Hustlers drop to 0-5 with the loss.
The Mariners put runners on base on a constant basis. In addition to the 15 hits, the Mariners were walked four times and three batters were hit by a pitch. Grand Lake did leave 10 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh.
"Guys had really good at-bats," Mariners skipper Sam Slavik said. "We left a lot of guys on base (10 total), so we didn't score as many runs as we could have. The guys must have been really seeing well at the plate today."
Lexington scored a run in the first, but Grand Lake recovered with two runs in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double from Tristan Mercadel, followed by an RBI single from Brandon Estep.
After the Mariners scored one in the second to make it 3-1, the Hustlers tied it in the top of the third.
The Mariners, though, stormed right back in the bottom of the third as Tyler Baar, Ryan LeFevers, Matt Poland and Zach Reboulet hit consecutive one-out singles to plate two runs and even the score.
Grand Lake kept collecting the hits and the runs as the game continued. LeFevers scored in the fifth after stealing third when the throw went into left field. The big inning came in the sixth as the Mariners scored three times. Reboulet scored when Taylor Huebner grounded into a fielder's choice and then Baar doubled in Dylan Woods and Huebner.
"Their pitchers threw strikes," Slavik said. "We did a good job of being aggressive. We just tried to put it into play."
Munger rebounded after the three early runs, retiring seven straight batters and eight of his final nine batters. Munger pitched five innings of four-hit baseball with two walks.
Rose came on in the fifth and pitched three scoreless innings before the Hustlers scored their final run in the eighth. Rose earned a save with four innings of five-hit baseball.
"Pete had to deal with the wet mound at the beginning but he battled through it. He pitched better as he went," Slavik said. "Jack did a good job. Last time out, he walked five guys. I told him to go out there and pitch with the lead, throw it in the zone and make them hit it."
Eight of the nine spots in the Grand Lake batting order had at least one base hit. Baar led the way with a 3-for-5 game with two RBI. Mercadel and Estep each had two hits and drove in two runs while Poland, Reboulet and Bradley each had two hits.
Grand Lake concludes the home-and-home series with the Hustlers tonight with a 7:05 p.m. start in Lexington, Kentucky. The Mariners travel to Newark to face Licking County on Friday before returning home to face Licking County in a 4 p.m. doubleheader.
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