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Tiller throws perfect game for Mariners

Matt Tiller

by Gary Williams

The Middle Peninsula Mariners upped their record to 6-1 on the season with 7-0 and 4-2 wins over the Richmond Astros Saturday.

Mariners’ starting pitcher Matt Tiller (2-0) completed a rare feat in baseball as he threw a perfect game in the 7-0 win. This is the first perfect game thrown in Middle Peninsula Mariners history.

Tiller struck out 10 Astros and allowed just two balls to be hit out of the infield. “Matt has pitched well for us this season and last season,” said Mariners manager Garland Harrow. “It’s rare to see a perfect game in your coaching career and I was glad to be a part of it. We are very proud of Matt’s success.”

Middle Peninsula began their offensive attack in the bottom of the 4th inning when they pushed across 5 runs on 3 hits. James Bierlein had a two-run single, Drew Hooper had an RBI single, and James Moore a two-run double in the inning.

The Mariners’ tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the 5th on an error and an RBI single by Bierlein, pushing the lead to 7-0.

Middle Peninsula continued to play solid defense behind Tiller for the remainder of the contest. After the game, Tiller thanked his catcher, J.C. Mosicki, for his first career perfect game. “I’ve got to give credit to J.C. for calling the pitches; he helped me a lot and did a great job.”

Offensively the Mariners were led by Bierlein who was 2 for 3 with a double and 3 RBIs. Also for Middle Peninsula: Moore, a double, walk, 2 RBIs; William Saunders, double; Trey Powell, single; Hooper, single, stolen base, hit by a pitch; and Mosicki, single, hit by a pitch.

The Astros jumped to 2-0 lead in the second game. With the bases loaded and one out in the 5th, Mariners pitcher William Saunders (1-1) entered the game in relief and struck out the next 2 batters to get out of the jam.

Middle Peninsula finally woke up at the plate in the bottom of the 6th. Moore led off the inning with a walk then stole second. David Smiy followed with a single, and two Richmond errors allowed Moore and Smiy to score and tie the game 2-2. Bryan Hannum then ripped a two-run double to give Middle Peninsula a 4-2 lead.

Mariners’ closer James Bierlein (2-0, 1) took the mound for the final inning and shut down the Astros in order, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced. Bierlein earned his first save of the season.

Dallas Wagner (1-0) started the game for the Mariners and gave up 2 runs, 4 hits, and struck out 4 in 4 1/3 innings. Saunders earned the win in relief and allowed no runs, no hits, and struck out 3.

Hannum led Middle Peninsula at the plate with a double, 2 RBIs, and was hit by a pitch. Also for the Mariners: Smiy and Mosicki, a single each; Moore, a walk and stolen base; and Bierlein, a walk.

The Mariners will travel to Essex High School in Tappahannock this Friday, June 12, to take on the Tides at 7 p.m.

On Saturday Middle Peninsula heads to Richmond to play the Rams in a 6 p.m. doubleheader at Deep Run High School.

For updated Mariners’ scores, stats and news, visit

posted 06.11.2009

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