The Mariners had four straight home games this week and were able to win three out of the four, boosting the team’s record to 7-11 this season as we near the halfway point of the regular season.
The first home game was a 6-4 win for the Mariners over the Leprechauns. Ian Yunker had a sensational evening on the mound – throwing seven innings, giving up just one earned run on three hits. He threw eight strikeouts and walked just one batter. On offense, the Mariners scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth. This gave them a 4-2 lead, and they wouldn’t look back. Keegan Gavin earned the save, and Gabriel Torres was 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Two of his hits were doubles, and he had a stolen base. Brayden Morrow was 2-5 and scored a couple of runs.
The next night was a fun one. The Mariners got to host the rival Locos for the first time at Montgomery Field this season. 125 fans came to watch the spectacle, but the Locos quickly had a 4-0 through four innings. The Mariners answered in the fifth when an Ethan Whitley double scored Morrow and Caden Kaiser. Morrow scored again in the seventh with Ryan Davis earning the RBI. The Locos scored in the top of the eighth to give them a 5-3 lead. But the Mariners would respond yet again when Taj Porter advanced to first on an error and Joe Jimenez scored, cutting the lead to one. The Mariners held the Locos scoreless in the top of the ninth but still needed a run to tie or two to win in the bottom half of the inning. Torres and Davis earned back-to-back walks. Ethan Whitley would hit a single, and Joe Jimenez had a single that almost got out of the park. Marcus Ernst came up with the bases loaded and one out. On the second pitch he saw, he hit a walk-off single that scored Torres and Whitley and gave the Mariners a come-from-behind walk-off 6-5 win. Zach Boyer earned the win after throwing three innings and giving up just one earned run.
Thursday night was the one downside to the otherwise exceptional week. The Graders came into town and left with a 17-8 win. It was a three-and-a-half-hour game that saw 25 runs, 33 hits, and 7 errors combined. Garrett Felix was the best on offense for the Mariners this night – going 3-4, scoring three runs, walking once, and with two stolen bases to his credit. Torres and Sam Seeker also had three hits each.
Grand Lake returned to its winning ways on Friday evening against the Monarchs, winning 3-2. This game was less than two and a half hours, saw just 5 runs, 14 hits, and 1 error combined. Ernst was responsible for all three RBIs and went 2-4. Beau Nichols pitched five phenomenal scoreless innings while giving up just two hits on his way to the win. Torres threw the remaining four innings and earned the save.
Felix and Ernst both have a .359 batting average, which puts them tied for eighth in the league. They are also both tied for fourth in hits, with 23 each. Additionally, they have identical stolen bases with ten each – tied for second in the league. Beau Nichols’s 21 strikeouts are tied for ninth in the league. He leads the team with a 3.00 ERA.
We are back on the road for away games this evening (Saturday) through Tuesday with an off night on Monday. We are back at home Wednesday at 7:05 against the Leprechauns. Thursday will be a home doubleheader against the Graders starting at 5:35 (each game will be seven innings each), and Friday will be a 7:05 start against the Ice Haulers. And we will be at home on the Fourth of July for a 4:05 game. Enjoy America’s pastime before celebrating America’s independence! See you at a game soon!