By Gary R. Rasberry
For the second straight night, Mother Nature took center stage and kept Grand Lake from getting a game in.
The Mariners' Wednesday night game with Indianapolis was postponed after one inning of scoreless baseball after umpires saw lightning in the sky and sent both teams to their dugouts.
Shortly after the teams were pulled off, the rain started, soaking an already wet field from the heavy rains on Tuesday. After nearly an hour of waiting out the rain and checking radar, the umpires called off the game.
There has been no date set for the re-start of the game.
In the first, Keegan Laycock, looking to go 3-0 on the season, got Justin McManus to pop out to Josh Eachues right in front of home plate. Jon Hickey singled and moved up on a Laycock wild pitch. Jeff Mercer grounded to short. Bryant Witt tried to throw out Hickey at third, but the throw got away from Ben Gaal, allowing Mercer to move to second. Laycock got out of the jam by striking out Kenny Bargfeldt and Nathan Colclasure to end the inning. In the bottom of the first, Servants' pitcher Jon Roberts had little trouble, getting Ryan Keena to fly to right before enticing Witt to ground to second. Gaal ended the inning by breaking his bat and grounding weakly back to the mound to end the inning.
After the inning, the base umpire noticed lightning and ordered teams to the dugouts for the mandated 30-minute wait. After 10 minutes, light rain settled into the area and intensified as the delay went on. Shortly before 8:30 p.m., the officials decided to call the game.
The Mariners will try to get a game in tonight with a road trip to Lima to play the Locos at 7 p.m. Grand Lake's next home game will be Friday night as Lake Erie, which had its game with the Mariners washed out on Tuesday, comes back for a 7:15 p.m. start.
M's on the leaderboard
The Great Lakes League released its leaderboard on Tuesday.
Wayne Bond is the only Grand Lake player to lead a category as his two triples puts him above a large number of players in the league who have just one. Bond is also tied for seventh in the league in stolen bases with four in league play. Former Mariner Josh Stewart leads the league with 13 swipes.
In the pitching categories, Chris Fetter is second in the league in earned run average (ERA) with a minuscule 0.69. Delaware ace George Biddle is slightly lower at 0.60. Laycock is eighth with 1.80.
Laycock is among the leaders in other categories, ranking seventh with 14 strikeouts and tied for fourth with a 2-0 record.
Kevin Marrie is tied for the lead with three others with two saves.
Locals all over the league
In addition to Scott Boley (Celina), Cory Luebke (Marion) and Kris Moorman (St. Henry) playing for the Mariners, three other Mercer County players are scattered around the Great Lakes League this season.
Having one of the best seasons is Coldwater grad and Indianapolis pitcher Kyle Heyne. Heyne, who had Mariners skipper Mike Stafford as his pitching coach at Ball State, leads the GLSCL with 17 strikeouts. Through 13 games, Heyne, who was a short relief ace for Ball State in the spring, is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA with a save for the Servants.
Up in Lima, both Sean Boley (Celina) and Galen Schumm (Parkway) have been playing a lot for the Locos. Boley has either caught or served as designated hitter for most of Lima's games this season. Boley is batting .275 with two doubles and three RBI this season. In 40 at-bats, Boley has struck out just twice.
Schumm, who is in his second year in the GLSCL after playing for Delaware last season, is batting .244 with five RBI.
In addition to the Mercer County players, several Western Buckeye League alumni are playing in the league. Van Wert star Korey Heppeard is ninth in the league with a 2.00 ERA and is among the four relievers to have two saves this season.
Former Wapak southpaw Josh Varno is working up in Lima this summer and is 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA in 7 2/3 innings of work for the Locos.
Versailles grad Craig Stammen, who was signed to pitch for the Mariners before being drafted in the 12th round the amateur baseball draft by Washington, has made two appearances for the Vermont Expos, the New York-Penn short-season A team of the Nationals.
In his first start on Monday, Stammen allowed three earned runs over 4 1/3, but did not get a decision as the Expos lost to the Oneonta Tigers 13-7.
In 6 2/3 innings of work this season, Stammen has no record with a 4.05 ERA and eight strikeouts.