2 Apr 2022
Mariners move to 1-0 and extend the winning streak from last season
It was a repeat of last year’s final for Opening Day in Shanganagh Park as the Bs opened up their campaign against a strong Comets team. It was a well fought contest which like the weather, warmed up as time went on.
Matt Dutton took the mound for his first start. For the first couple of innings it was very much a pitchers duel between him and Comets Starting Pitcher, Croft. Both kept it tight, but it was the Mariners who opened the game up with a 4-run 3rd inning. Matt Green, Matt McCann, Ben Sullivan as well as Matt Dutton himself, all making their way around the bases.
One batter into the 4th, Dutton was replaced by Mark Ward due to reaching his pitch limit. Job well done with only allowing 3-hits, 2-runs and all while taking 5 Ks. Mark started off well, however, the Comets started to rally back with a 5-run 5th inning. They were focused at the plate and chose their pitches well to take a lead in the game.
Although, as Ward had done all last year when the pressure was on, he zeroed in on the strike zone and shut the door. Being so clinically clutch, he left their comeback charge feeling sickened! The Mariners line-up then took momentum from the mound and put on a further 6-runs over the next two innings. The Comets would tack on a couple of single run innings, but the total would ultimately be to be too much for them.
With one batter left in the 8th, Osas Ewanshia came into close the game out. A strong shift put in by Ward who can be satisfied knowing that one tough inning certainly cannot overshadow a solid, 5 strikeout performance and first win of the season.
Osas was exactly what you wanted a Closing Pitcher to be…quick, efficient and ruthless. 21 pitches later, the remaining 4-outs were dispatched to record the save
Hit of the Day definitely went to Matt Dutton. Towards the end of the 5th, he crushed one to left-centre and the only missed out on a Home-Run because the umpire did not have eagle vision from home plate. Ball was in play but it was a stand-up triple. This, along with the 2-hits, 3 RBIs and his pitching, made him a clear choice for MVP!
Other notable performances were Mike Mohler and Patrick Fleming who each had 2-hits, with Patrick also having an equalling team high, with Dutton, of 3 RBIs. Matt McCann had an excellent first game as Catcher and finally, Oliver who made his first B-League appearance at 15 years old!
The Mariners move to 1-0 and extend the winning streak from last season.