The Mariners are wrapping up their stretch of home games with a game tonight (7/13) and they went 2-2 between the Thursday-Sunday games. The two wins were especially impressive.
On Thursday, the league-leading Ice Haulers were in Celina. Up to this game, Sandusky Bay had won 22 of their previous 24 games. The Mariners knew it would be a tough test, but they came ready to play – and ready to win. Ryan Davis scored in the bottom of the first to put the Mariners on the board quickly. In the fifth, Marcus Ernst hit a two-run home run scoring Ryan Davis, and the Mariners had a 3-0 lead. Kade Benavidez was exceptional from the mound. In six innings pitched, he didn’t allow the Ice Haulers to score any runs and only gave up two hits. He struck out eight batters and walked just one. He brought his season ERA down to 3.71. Grand Lake added one more in the seventh when Ethan Whitley’s single scored Ryan Davis. Davis scored three of the Mariners’ four runs. Joel Roediger pitched the remaining three innings and earned the save while Benavidez got the win. The Mariners won 4-0, and the Ice Haulers were shut out for the first time as a member of the GLSCL.
Friday’s game against the Locos got off to a good start for the Mariners. Kevin Norton did great on the mound – not giving up any runs in five innings and allowing just three hits. Offensively, Garrett Felix had a double that scored Ernst in the fourth. Taj Porter would score in the fifth, giving the Mariners a 2-0 lead. Things would change in the sixth, though. The Locos had a three-run homer and a two-run shot in the inning and took a 5-2 lead. They put up another three-run bomb in the eighth, and another run in the ninth gave them a 9-2 lead, which would be the final score. The Mariners had seven hits that came from seven different batters, but they could only manage the two runs.
The Galion Graders visited Montgomery Field for the last time this season on Saturday. They put up two runs in the top of the second, but Beau Nichols wouldn’t let them score anymore. He pitched seven innings and allowed just two runs from the second. He struck out nine, walked one, and gave up four hits. Ernst had a single in the sixth that scored Gabriel Torres to cut the lead to 2-1. Then in the eighth, Brandon Parrott hit a solo shot that tied the game at two. We would head to extras, and when no one scored in the tenth, we went on to play in the eleventh. The Graders added two runs on one hit. Zach Boyer only allowed that one hit through his four innings on the mound, and had six strikeouts. In the bottom half, Whitley had a single that scored Ernst. But the Mariners couldn’t manage any more runs. The Graders took a close one – 4-3 in eleven innings.
Sunday was a fun one. Jet Box came to town, and they scored a run in the second. But Joe Jimenez responded with a solo home run to tie it up 1-1 after two. Jordan Bekier gave up just one run in six innings and struck out six. Ernst’s single in the fifth scored Preston Jones. Then Ernst hit a solo home run in the seventh. He now has an eight-game hitting streak. The Mariners had a 3-1 lead, but Jet Box tacked one on in the eighth and another in the ninth. Tied at three, the game went to extras. Jet Box took a 4-3 lead in the eleventh, but Parrott’s double for the Mariners scored Ryan Davis and tied it at four. Jet Box scored another in the twelfth. So Grand Lake had to score yet again in the bottom of the inning. Brayden Morrow’s sacrifice scored Felix. But later in the inning, Taj Porter hit a double down the right-field line. When Ryan Davis came to bat, he hit one over the left fielder’s head that scored Noah Thigpen – who was pinch-running for Porter. The Mariners won 6-5!
There are only four home games left remaining this summer. Join us tonight (7/13) for an earlier than usual 6:05 start against the Muskegon Clippers. Be sure to buy your raffle tickets for our end-of-season raffle. We will be giving away over $10,000 worth of prizes during our Sunday, July 18th game at 4:05. We’ll see you at a game soon!