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First place Mariners host Tigers Saturday

Drew Hooper (above) of the Mariners had 3 hits and 3 stolen bases in the second game win on Saturday.

by Gary Williams

The Middle Peninsula Mariners improved their overall record to 8-1 with 6-4 and 5-3 wins over the Richmond Rams on Saturday.

Middle Peninsula now holds a two-game lead in the Virginia Baseball League standings with a 7-1 league record.

James Bierlein started the Mariners’ attack in the first game Saturday with a double in the first inning. He scored on a David Smiy’s single.

Richmond answered back in the bottom of the third with two runs before Mariners’ starting pitcher Dallas Wagner (2-0) struck out the side.

Middle Peninsula regained the lead in the fifth when they scored four runs on three hits and a walk. Andre Carr scored on a bases-loaded hit by a pitch to tie the game at 2-2. Drew Hooper and James Moore then scored on a wild pitch, and Smiy finished off the inning with a run-scoring triple, putting the Mariners up 5-2.

Moore and Bierlein singled in the top of the seventh, and Moore later scored on a throwing error to give Middle Peninsula a 6-4 advantage.

Bierlein (2-0) closed out the game on the mound. After hitting the first batter, Bierlein retired the side to pick up his second save of the season.

Wagner struck out 9 and allowed just 2 earned runs on the way to his second pitching win of the season.

Smiy lead the Mariners at the plate going 2 for 3 with a triple and two RBIs. Also, Bierlein had a double, single, RBI, and hit by a pitch; Greg Mitro, double; Andre Carr, Bryan Hannum and Moore, a single each; and Hooper, a walk.

Hooper sparked the Mariners’ offense with a lead-off single in the top of the third of game two. Moore followed with a triple, scoring Hooper. Bierlein then hit a sacrifice fly to give Middle Peninsula a 2-0 lead.

The Mariners tacked on another run in the next inning on an RBI groundout by Hannum.

Richmond pushed across their first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double.

Ryan Reynolds’ RBI single in the fifth increased the Mariners’ lead to 4-1.

Mitro added another insurance run for Middle Peninsula when he scored on an error in the sixth.

The Rams made things interesting in the final inning as they scored 2 runs on 2 errors and a single. Mariners’ starter Matt Tiller (3-0) then settled in and fielded the final out, giving Middle Peninsula the 5-3 victory.

Tiller picked up his third complete game win of the season, allowing just two runs and striking out five.

Hooper tore up the base paths with 3 stolen bases during his 3 for 3 game. Also for the Mariners, Moore had a triple and RBI; Bierlein, single, sacrifice fly, RBI, stolen base; Mitro, walk, 2 stolen bases; Scott Crump, single; Reynolds, single, RBI; and Hannum, RBI.

This Saturday, June 20, Middle Peninsula will host the Tappahannock Tigers in a 6 p.m. doubleheader. Admission is $7 for adults; kids 12 and under are admitted free. For updated Mariners’ scores, stats and news, visit

posted 06.17.2009

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