‘A’s V Black Sox 7-16 Loss
Tuesday 17 April 2007 – 02:15:16
The Mariners ‘A’s fell to an 2007 opening day loss against the blitz-winning Black Sox in Shankill Saturday. Overcoming the absence of last season’s MVP and their starting pitcher Shawn Miskiman proved to much for the team, who while scoring 7 runs to a very consistent Eoin O’Conner, couldn’t stop conceding despite the best pitching efforts of rookie Jack Fairbairn and long-reliever Darragh Jones. A well worked 2 run lead from the top of the 2nd inning was quickly over-come as the young Fairbairn’s nerves got the better of him, with too many walks and a few scattered hits resulting in a 2-6 deficit by innings end. Fairbairn with his talent and attitude, will have another day on the mound and will have surely learnt something from the expierence. Darragh Jones was handed the ball for the remaining 5 innings and did an admirable job putting the ball over the plate to give his team a chance. While the Mariners battled on, getting men on base and picking up runs throughout their line-up, the game was never really within their grasp.
I think next season will have to see all holidays okayed by the coach first, with some players destined for winter breaks only.
‘A’s V Hurricanes 6-5 win.
The Mariner ‘A’s got their fist win of the season on Saturday against the tough-to-beat Hurricanes in Clondalkin. It was a close game all the way here with the ‘canes’ threatening to steal victory right up until the final out. Despite giving up 8 walks, starter Shawn Miskiman several times shut the door on that Mariner nemesis ‘the big inning’, allowing the team to come away with the win. He was aided by some solid fielding, particularly from rookie shortstop Cian O’Riordan. But again it was the whole batting order that really pulled the Mariners through. Just like in their previous game, and despite a flurry of fly-outs, the runs they did score came from the top and bottom of the line-up. Jim Gorman got on base each time of asking with 2 hits and 2 walks. Conor Duncan and Ross Graham shared 3 infield hits between them and Jack Fairbairn’s pinch walk began the 3 run 7th inning that took the team to victory. Thanks is due to Darragh Jones who did a great service to the team playing out of position behind the plate, while the Donnellys went to a wedding.
‘A’s V Spartans 2-10 Loss
Not to many positives to write about from this game, unless you’re a Spartan. Still if your offense is as cold as an Arctic Christmas it doesn’t matter who your playing. It started brightly enough…for the Spartans, who found all the gaps and began with 5 straight hits and a 5 run lead from the 1st inning. To be fair, they only tacked on 1 more run until the bottom of the 6th, with the pitching and fielding doing a creditable job of keeping the team in the game, particularly Gareth Donnelly’s handiwork throwing out 3 base-runners. But by then the Mariner line-up had decided to strand the few base-runners they had. An early run was thwarted when Alex McFadden’s monster hit, destined to be an RBI triple, ended up stuck in the pretty but useless outfield hedge, reducing it to a ground-rule double. But the smattering of hits that followed never amounted to any kind of a sustained attack. The shut-out was avoided late on and the introduction of Steve Stone who scored the 2nd run on his own, bodes well for the future. Roll on the Tigers..eh Giants, sorry Twins…I think.
‘A’s V Twins 21-6 Win
It was better late than never for the Twins, and despite the 30-minute delay, the Mariner offence, which at last came alive with 20 hits and 21 runs to win this game in 5 innings on Saturday. 5 singles for Conor Duncan, 2 doubles for Darragh Jones, 5 runs scored by Shawn Miskiman, a triple each for Shawn, Alex McFadden and Stephan Hayes who was a homerun short of the cycle were the offensive highlights. Equally crucial was the defence. With Darragh Jones on the mound you get strikes and balls put in play, all of which were dealt with efficiently for the first 3 innings with only 2 runs conceded in the 4th. Stephan Hayes did a great job behind the plate throwing out 2 base runners. Gareth Donnelly came in to pitch the 5th and finish the game, but wasn?t helped by his team-mates who allowed 4 runs cross the plate with a variety of errors which shows the danger of switching off even in a game seemingly as comfortable as this one.
‘A’s V Spartans 4-10 Loss
While losing again to the Spartans, this time in Shankill, the Mariners showed a little more resilience than their last time out against the league champions and despite the scoreline could have come away with something. Playing at home on an away field, the Mariner defence over-extended the welcome by spotting the opposition 2 runs in each of the first 3 innings. While the offense took it’s time to get going, the 6 run lead they were chasing had been cut to just 3 by the 4th with hits coming from debutantes Sam Marcus, and Peter Lang who was the only Mariner with 2 hits on the day. The 5 walks the Mariners got were also a much needed improvement on previous outings. But the clutch hit that was necessary to keep the pressure on did not come, most notably with the bases loaded in the 5th. However by then the Mariners were back chasing the game as the Spartans had pegged on enough runs to see them through this game easily. I don’t think there is any shame in losing to a team like the Spartans, loaded as they are with pitchers. For the sake of the league and fair competition though, it would be nice if some of those arms had been spread around the other teams.
‘A’ V Black Sox 2-5 Loss
Another bad day at the offence for the Mariners, but not for all of them. Jim Gorman, playing with a broken finger, had 2 walks and a triple in 4 at bats, scoring the team?s only 2 runs. There were doubles from Shawn Miskiman and Steve Stone but apart from one more hit and a couple of walks; that was pretty much it! A pity really because it ruined a fine pitching display in long-relief from Jim and some solid fielding from the infield. Right-fielder Rob McGarry made the catch of the day late in the game with a running shoestring snag to his left to keep the score close. And with the top of the order coming up in the 7th hopes were high, but the Mariners are disappointing in the clutch and so it proved here. Another loss may leave the Mariners 2-4 on the season, but there is still time to turn it around. Blame the coach, I say!
Mariners V Hurricanes 9-16 Loss
A game of two halves this one. The Hurricanes held a 2-0 lead until the 4th aided and abetted by a Mariner offence slow to get going. To be fair the 1st inning outcome could have been very different with a bit of luck. Lead-off hitter Jim Gorman was thrown out by a good throw to 2nd as he tried to steal and Sam Marcus was doubled up after Steve Stone?s line drive was hit straight at the 3rd baseman. Steve was unluckier in his next at-bat when another line drive was snagged by a falling-over left-fielder. However any prospective pitcher?s duel was killed by the 7 runs the Hurricanes scored in their half of the 4th inning. With Shawn Miskiman nursing an injured shoulder, the Mariners are thin on pitching and while Jim battled gamely on the mound he couldn?t prevent the big inning and the handful of runs the Hurricanes added subsequently. At least the Mariner offence woke up to the challenge of a 9 run deficit and for 3 innings it wasn?t a bad day offensively. The hits did come, in pairs, for Steve, Rob McGarry and Conor Duncan, while Darragh Jones and Gareth Donnelly had 3 hits each. Sam reached base in his first 3 at-bats and Rob was an excellent 4 for 4 on the day. But with to many runs already conceded, the Mariners were once again playing catch-up and never really came close to winning this one. One pitching highlight was seeing Jack Fairbairn take the mound with runners on and then walking back to the dugout with 2 strikeouts in his pocket after facing only 3 Hurricanes to end the bottom of the 6th.
Last game it was good D and no offence, this game it was good offence but no pitching. One of these games the Mariners are going to play the whole package and definitely surprise someone, maybe even themselves.
Mariners V Twins 13-2 Win
A tidy win this, that had Donnelly written all over it; Dennis Donnelly. He pitched a 2 hit, 2 walk complete game, conceding no earned runs, and was dominant right from the first batter and strikeout, which were one and the same person. Despite not getting much run support in the early innings, the Mariners crawling out to a 3-0 lead, Dennis pitched his way out of his only troublesome inning, the 4th, where the twins reduced that lead to 1 run, and then procceded to get through the 5th & 6th inning with a total of just 14 pitches. He was duly rewarded with a comfort zone when the offense came alive late in the game to secure only the third Mariner victory of the season. While hits came throughout the line-up, the two Steves, Stone and Hayes, both had great days at the plate, with Steve Stone’s 4 consecutive hard hit singles a highlight. Due to Dennis’ dominance, the only defensive highlights were coming from the Twins 3rd baseman who made numerous great plays to take some infield hits away from the Mariners.
Mariners V Hurricanes 6-7 Loss
A Mariner enemy of old returned in this game to hand the Hurricanes victory in their 3rd clash of the season. Despite another strong pitching performance from Dennis Donnelly who gave up only 3 hits and 5 walks, 6 unearned runs poured in for the Hurricanes in the 2nd inning thanks to 3 fielding errors that cancelled out the 4 run lead the Mariners had jumped to in the 1st.
And it did start so brightly. Rob McGarry proved once again the ideal leadoff man by getting things going in the 1st as he reached on an error and finished the game with a 3-4 on-base percentage. He scored on a massive double from Cian O?Riordan, which was followed by some timely walks to see the Mariners bat around and finish the inning with a 4 run lead. But the failure to take advantage of this opening was most disappointing; only 3 more hits and 2 runs followed and just as the Mariners had tied the game, another fielding error in the 6th allowed the Hurricanes tack on what proved the game winning run.
The fielding wasn?t all bad though as Shawn Miskiman at shortstop, Stephan Hayes catching and rookie Peter Quinlan in right-field all had fine games at their position.
What was also encouraging for the Mariners is that despite the team missing some regular starters, the Greystones squad is strong enough to field a team capable of competing despite those absentees.
Mariners V Spartans 4-9 Loss
This was as frustrating a game to report on as I?m sure it was to play in and witness. The final score in no way reflects just how close this game really was and how for 5 innings the Mariners held the lead twice against the league leaders. On the back of another controlled pitching performance from Dennis Donnelly, who gave up just 1 walk in 6 innings, and some stellar defence, most notably from Jim Gorman in centre-field who helped himself to an unassisted double play, the Spartans were generally kept off the base-paths and subsequently held to just 1 run through the first 4 innings. While the offence was again quiet overall, the Mariners did score 2 runs following hits from Shawn Miskiman, Peter Lang and Dennis in the bottom of the 2nd inning and again in the bottom of the 5th after the Spartans had scored 2 in their half of the 5th. These Mariner runs scored following a walk from Jim and hits by Steve Stone, who had 2 doubles on the day, and Gareth Donnelly. The game was set up nicely for a tight and tense finish only to see it all unravel following three controversial calls, all in the Spartans favour, which took the wind out of the Mariner sails and deflated a team that had been up for the challenge of taking the first win off the still unbeaten champions. Despite the final 2 innings of this game being played in a haze of annoyance, the Mariners had one more highlight as Cian O?Riordan came in for the tired Dennis Donnelly and pitched excellently for the final 3 Spartan outs.
There is no doubt the Mariners will have gained more from this game than its eventual winners, and despite feeling let down by the umpires will know that they are capable of challenging against all opposition in this league.
Mariners V Twins 8-3 Win
A satisfying and solid win for the Mariners in their first game at the new Charlesland field. The victory came on the back of a strong pitching performance from Cian O?Riordan who made 13 of the 21 outs strikeouts, giving up only 3 hits along the way. Reilly Porter did a fine job catching the game, throwing out one runner attempting to steal 3rd. Otherwise the defence had little to do, while the offence did enough scoring to keep the Mariners comfortably ahead throughout, with Rob McGarry, Steve Stone and Shawn Miskiman each getting 2 hits, one of which was a triple for Shawn.
With the season coming to a close and a play-off place still not guaranteed, the Mariners must maintain their form against the Northstars next week. Players will also be playing for starting positions should the Mariners make the play-offs.
Mariners V Northstars Game 1 15-0 Win
Mariners V Northstars Game 2 10-4 Win
I wasn’t in Belfast to witness the Mariners finest day of the season, as they took the long road north and returned with two comfortable victories. I do know the team that travelled included five players under the age of twenty and a couple of experienced heads. With a playoff place still not guaranteed, some trepidation was expressed beforehand about the team’s youthfulness, but it was obviously unfounded. This club is built on a foundation of youth baseball and the fruit is there annually for all to see. Reilly Porter, Sam Marcus and Leo Farrell played their part and kept the age average down but once again it was the pitchers Dennis Donnelly and Cian O’Riordan that gave the most hope for the future with solid outings on the mound. I can say little else really except I’m sorry I wasn’t there. Ahh well, my loss, thankfully the only one on the day.
Mariners V Black Sox Game Abandoned
3 innings of this game were played before the threatening weather turned foul and sent us all home with the game tied 6 each. Although the Black Sox jumped out to a 6-1 lead, the Mariners fought back in the deteriorating conditions and with more than half the game left it really was nicely poised. Alas it was not to be victory for either team. In the end, all it meant was these two teams meet again next Sunday in the playoffs with the loser’s season over for another year.