23 Apr 2022
The Mariners Bs put their unbeaten streak on the line as they travelled out to the International Baseball Centre in Ashbourne, Meath, to face the Stags. The weather seemed a little unpredictable when they arrived, but before the first pitch, it had warmed up into perfect conditions for America’s past time. Batting Cages, Infield Outfield, some stretching and both teams were ready to go.
The Mariners were fast and furious straight off the line. They shifted into top gear and put on 5-runs in each of the first 2 innings. They were really coasting with some questions being asked of when and how the mercy rule would be enforced, like a few games last year. That was last year. That was complacency. The was assumption. And my dad always said that when you assume, the game is gone. On this occasion, I wished he was wrong but as usual, he was on point. When we pressed the button looking for more gas, there was empty tank. All the team was left with was a thought of “we nearly had them”. However, The Stags had cut the breaks knowing there was a wall coming. The Mariners would only put on one further run in the next 5-innings and lose 15-11 in the 8th after the time limit was reached. The streak slip handed over and back to zero.
All that being said, a huge amount of credit needs to go to The Stags. They were 10-1 down a couple of innings in and could have gone through the motions and waited for the quick finish in the 5th. They didn’t. They dug in, kept working on the basics and took each at-bat, one at a time. They showed a lot of resilience to come out with the win and I know, they will take this experience forward into the rest of the season. I would.
There were some performances of note with the bat for the Mariners, and it all seems to fall in twos. 2-Hits each for Patrick Fleming, Ben Sullivan, and Matt Green where his were both Doubles. 2-Runs for Patrick, Ben, Matt and Gao Zhikai. And finally, a couple of ribbies for Ben and Oliver Lee. Oliver also hit is first hit for the Mariners Bs in the 2nd with a nice hit that found the hole between 3rd-Base and Short Stop.
As the Mariners lost, it means that there is no MVP. However, if we could select one, it would have to be Starting Pitcher Mark Ward. One hundred and fifty-seven pitches with over half of those being strikes. And he said that he was “…about 80-pitches away…” from his limit. He was the only experienced pitcher on the roster and knew it. An absolute herculean effort which unfortunately, was not able to be matched by the batting line-up and some of the fielding plays.
Next game is at home against the Ashbourne Titans on May 7th. Let’s see if they can get back in the driver’s seat for this one and get the win.