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Mariners capture VBL title

by Gary Williams

Matt Tiller pitched the Mariners to the VBL title.

The Middle Peninsula Mariners (17-4) convincingly took the Virginia Baseball League (VBL) Championship Sunday with a 9-2 victory over the Richmond Astros.

This is the Mariners’ first title since joining the Virginia Baseball League in 2006.

Last week the Mariners also won the regular season title of the VBL.

“This is a big victory for the players that have been with the team four or five years and have been through so much,” said manager Garland Harrow. “The veterans along with the newcomers and young local talent really worked hard this season to win the title.”

Middle Peninsula went with Matt Tiller (5-1) as their starting pitcher in the title game. “Tiller has been great for us all season,” said Harrow. “He’s a great guy to have in the dugout and even better when he gets on the mound.”

Tiller allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts in 7 innings.

The Mariners gave Tiller plenty of run support starting in the bottom of the second when shortstop Kevin Davis doubled home James Moore.

Middle Peninsula added 5 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Moore brought home the first run of the inning on a two-out double scoring Bryan Hannum. Davis followed with a two-run single. This put one runner on with two out for Travis Crump, who then belted a two-run home run to up the Mariners’ lead to 6-1.

Middle Peninsula added 2 more runs in the fifth, one scoring on an error the other coming on an RBI single by Luke Saunders.

The Mariners’ coaching staff decided to clear their bench in the bottom of the sixth, allowing every position player and pitcher to get an at-bat.

William Saunders lead off the sixth inning with a single and later scored on a triple by Jonathan Somers. This put the Mariners up 9-1 going into the final inning.

Richmond made things interesting when Joe Meador led off the inning with a solo home run to left field. Tiller retired the next two batters and recorded the final out when he caught a line drive come-backer. Middle Peninsula walked off with a 9-2 victory and the Virginia Baseball League title.

The Mariners were led at the plate by Davis, who went 2 for 2 with a double and 3 RBIs.

Also for Middle Peninsula, David Smiy had a double; James Bierlein, a single, a walk; Luke Saunders, a single, an RBI; Bryan Hannum, a single, a walk; Scott Crump, a walk; Moore, a double, a walk, an RBI; William Saunders, a single, a stolen base; Travis Crump, a home run, 2 RBIs; Somers, a triple, an RBI; and J.C. Mosicki, a single.

Appreciates Support

Middle Peninsula coaches and players thanked all of the parents, fans, and supporters for their participation this summer. “We had some really great people behind our players this year,” said Harrow. “The crowds were great all season and I was very happy with the turnout for the championship game in Tappahannock.”

The Mariners also thanks their sponsor, Harrow’s Home Center, for its support.

For stats and pictures of the Mariners, visit

posted 08.01.2008

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