Grand Lake wins 1-0 on walk-off single, battle through 12-inning thriller with red hot Ice Haulers

The Mariners had four consecutive home games over the last three days including a doubleheader against the Galion Graders. They won their first two but lost each of the next two by just a run each.

It started on Wednesday evening when the Locos made the short trip to Celina. Both teams scored two runs in the first, and the game was tied at three heading into the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, the Mariners’ offense exploded – scoring five runs on four hits. Brandon Green, who was 3-5 on the day, had a single that inning and scored a run. He also had a double in the game, another single, a stolen base, and scored another run. Sam Seekers was 2-3 and scored a run in the seventh inning. Garrett Felix had an unconventional day at the plate. He walked four times and scored three runs! Keegan Gavin allowed three runs in six innings pitched, and Gabriel Torres earned the win. He gave up one run on two hits in his three innings of relief.

Thursday was the doubleheader against the Graders. Each game was seven innings, and the first game was a pitcher’s duel. It was looking like it could head to extras without a single run being scored. Kevin Norton was on the mound for the Mariners, and he was exceptional. In six innings, he only allowed three hits, had 11 strikeouts, and walked just one batter! In the bottom of the seventh, Marcus Ernst got on base after a four-pitch walk. During Brayden Morrow’s at-bat, he stole second base. Morrow hit a single later in the at-bat which scored Ernst from second, and that was all the Mariners needed. It was a walk-off single and a 1-0 victory for the Mariners in game one. Beau Nichols earned the win after a clean seventh inning on the mound. The two teams combined for just seven hits.

The offense was more prevalent in game two. The Graders got on the board quickly in the top of the first with a run. They scored again in the second, and the Mariners answered with a run in the bottom half. In the third, the Mariners scored four times – thanks in part from Brandon Parrott’s single that scored Joe Jimenez and Blake Davis. Grand Lake had a couple more in the fourth when Donnie Stone’s double scored Jimenez and Blake Davis again. The Mariners had a 7-2 lead at this point, but Galion quickly retaliated. They had a five-run fifth which tied the game, and they tacked one on in the top of the seventh to give them an 8-7 lead. The Mariners got a runner to third in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t get him home and lost by a run. Stone and Caden Kaiser each had three walks.

Everyone knew Friday’s game against the Ice Haulers was going to be tough. Sandusky Bay had won 19 of their last 20 games heading into the contest. It was scoreless through three. Then the Ice Haulers scored two in the fourth, and the Mariners responded in the bottom half once Ernst scored. There would be no more runs until the bottom of the seventh when Ernst scored again. Jordan Bekier pitched seven innings and gave up just two runs against a team that put up 15 against Lima the night before. He had eight strikeouts. But this game couldn’t be settled in nine, so we went to extras. No runs scored in the tenth, and in the eleventh, each team would start with a runner on second base per GLSCL rules. The Ice Haulers scored two in the inning. Yet, the Mariners came back when Green scored on a passed ball and Felix scored an unearned run. We were tied at four going into the twelfth. It should be mentioned that Blake Davis came into relief for the Mariners – making his first appearance on the mound this summer. In 3.1 innings, he gave up one run on four hits. The Ice Haulers added two more in the twelfth. Torres scored for the Mariners but they fell short, losing 6-5. The Ice Haulers won their 13th straight, but it didn’t come without a fight. Ernst was 3-5 with a double, two stolen bases, an RBI, and two runs scored.

Our next home game is on the 4th of July this Sunday. We take on Jet Box with the first pitch at 4:05. All veterans and current servicemen and women will be admitted for free at the ballpark. Additionally, kids in attendance will get to join the Mariners players on the field during the National Anthem. Then after the game, they can run the bases and get high-fives from the players as they cross home plate. Then the players will be available to sign autographs. Posters will be provided. We can’t wait to see you there! Happy 4th of July weekend!