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Red-hot Mariners to host Richmond Friday

by Gary Williams

Members of the 2008 Middle Peninsula Mariners include, front row from left, Drew Hooper, William Saunders, Scott Crump, Trey Powell, Bryan Hannum and J.C. Mosicki; second row, Luke Saunders, Kevin Davis, James Moore, James Bierlein, Kevin Tucker and Matt Tiller; third row, Garland Harrow and Gary Williams. Not Pictured are Daniel Rollins, Travis Crump, Brandon Berry, Kyle Hicks, David Smiy, Nick Simons and Josh Youngman.

The Middle Peninsula Mariners picked up three key wins last weekend to improve their record to 12-2. On Friday night the Mariners defeated the Tappahannock Tides 5-4, and on Saturday they won both games of a doubleheader against the Richmond Rams, 1-0 and 6-1. With the wins, Middle Peninsula extends its winning streak to five games and takes a commanding lead in the Virginia Baseball League standings.

This Friday, July 4th, at Deltaville Ballpark, the Mariners will host the Richmond Rams at 6:30 p.m. The Rams are scheduled to start pitcher Brian Marshall, who was recently released from the Washington Nationals Class AA minor league team. Tickets for the game are $5 for adults; kids 12 and under are free.

Mariners 5, Tappahannock 4

Last Friday the Mariners won a hard-fought game against league rival Tappahannock, 5-4. Middle Peninsula took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a bases-loaded walk to J.C. Mosicki that scored James Moore from third. The lead was expanded to 2-0 in the bottom of the third when Scott Crump singled home James Bierlein. Tappahannock cut the lead to 2-1 with an RBI single in the fourth. The Tides would tie the game the next inning on another RBI single.

Mariners’ left fielder Drew Hooper broke the 2-2 tie when he singled up the middle in the bottom of the sixth, scoring Moore from second base. A two-out single from Middle Peninsula shortstop Kevin Davis gave the Mariners a 4-2 lead heading into the top of the ninth. With one out and one on in the top of the ninth, Tappahannock second basemen Blake Williams hit a two-run home run to right center to tie the game 4-4.

Two walks to the Mariners in the bottom of the ninth put the winning run on second base with one out for Moore, who then crushed a single to the right-center gap bringing home Bierlein and giving Middle Peninsula the 5-4 victory.

“It was a great game in front of a great crowd,” said Mariners manager Garland Harrow. “The fans have been excellent this season and I’m glad we could pull out an exciting win against a good ball team.” Matt Tiller (2-1) started on the mound for the Mariners and had another quality outing. Tiller pitched 7 innings and gave up 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 6. Williams Saunders (1-0) went 1 1/3 innings, giving up 2 runs on one hit and striking out one. Bierlein (2-0) picked up the win, pitching 2/3 innings in relief and giving up no runs and no hits.

Offensively for the Mariners, Moore had 2 singles, RBI, and a walk; Luke Saunders, 2 singles, stolen base; Davis, single, RBI, stolen base; Bierlein, double, walk; Crump, single, RBI, walk; Hooper, single, RBI; Mosicki, single, 2 walks; Trey Powell, 2 hit by pitches; Bryan Hannum, a walk.
Mariners 1, Rams 0

On Saturday Middle Peninsula came out on the winning side of a 1-0 pitchers’ duel with the Richmond Rams. The Mariners went with pitcher Kyle Hicks (2-0) to start on the mound. Hicks dominated the Rams lineup by giving up just 4 hits and striking out 11 en route to a complete game shutout win. Opposing Hicks was Rams pitcher Brian Marshall. Marshall had been with the Washington Nationals Class AA minor league team until recently. Marshall gave up one run on 2 hits while striking out 12. The lone Middle Peninsula run came in the top of the fifth inning when James Moore tripled to right field to score Scott Crump.

Richmond made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh with a lead-off double. Hicks then buckled down and struck out the next 3 batters to end the game 1-0. Moore led the Mariners at the plate with a triple and an RBI. James Bierlein, was the only other Middle Peninsula batter to get a hit, a single. Crump had a walk.

Mariners 6, Rams 1

The second game of the doubleheader Saturday looked to be another pitchers’ duel until the Mariners got their bats going in the top of the third. Kevin Davis led off the inning with a walk and was brought home on an RBI triple by James Moore. Moore later scored in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Bryan Hannum.

Middle Peninsula broke the game open with 4 runs in the top of the sixth. Kevin Tucker started the rally with a walk and was followed by 4 consecutive Middle Peninsula hits. Luke Saunders doubled to left and then scored on a single by J.C. Mosicki. Davis singled and was followed by Moore who singled home Mosicki. Two walks brought home another run, and Scott Crump capped off the inning with an RBI single. After the dust settled, Middle Peninsula held a 6-0 lead.

After a strong 5-inning performance from starting pitcher Nick Simons (2-0), new addition Josh Youngman came on to close out the game. Youngman is a pitcher at Lynchburg College. The Rams managed to push across one run in the bottom of the sixth, but were held scoreless the rest of the way giving Middle Peninsula a 6-1 victory. Simons gave up 6 hits and struck out 2 en route to his second win of the season. Youngman allowed one run on 2 hits and struck out one in his 2 innings of relief.

Once again the Mariners were led at the plate by James Moore, who went 3 for 5 with a triple, 2 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Also for Middle Peninsula, Hannum, 2 singles, 2 RBIs, sacrifice fly, walk; Luke Saunders, single, double, 2 walks, 2 stolen bases; Crump, single, RBI; Davis, single, 2 walks, stolen base; Mosicki, single, RBI; Bierlein, Tucker, and Trey Powell each had a walk.

posted 07.02.2008

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