Monday 14 June 2004 – 12:04:45
TIGERS 0-16 MARINERS
The second game of the Tigers vs Mariners twin-bill was the first in replica. This time Greystones took to the field first, but again held the Tigers. At the plate the Mariners continued their domination. Four runs in the first, two in the second, four in the third and three in the fourth left Greystones needing two in the bottom of the fifth to end the game on the mercy rule. Gareth Donnelly got things going with a solo in-the-park home run. Then two batters later Jim Gorman, who else, sealed the deal with his second jack of the day.
There were no great celebrations after handing a very average team two defeats, but the manner in which they were achieved augers well for the rest of the season.
Winning Pitcher: Darragh Jones.
NORTHSTARS 12-19 MARINERS
The Mariners are over .500 for the first time since May. A 19-12 come from behind win against the North Stars on Saturday leaves the M’s with a 5-4 record ahead of the weekend?s crucial showdown with the Dublin Panthers.
The Mariners have been in the batting cages of late and against the Belfast visitors it showed. Greystones scored in every inning and despite a nine run third, the North Stars simply couldn?t keep up. Thirdbaseman Dan Silverlock had a career day going 3-4 with home runs in his first two trips to the plate, the second of which produced a grand slam. Darragh Jones and Gareth Donnelly also hit round-trippers on a playing surface that was ideally suited to the long game.
It wasn?t all plain sailing for the Mariners however. Once again they were victim to the big inning. With the aid of a couple of errors by the home side, the North Stars batted around in the third. That left Greystones trailing by six. But before the top of the fourth it was a one run game and the M?s were back at the helm. Sheer bad luck befell the North Stars in the fourth as their Antipodean short stop ruptured his achillies and an ambulance driven trip to Loughlinstown ensued. Down to eight men in the field it was always going to be a long jorunet home to Belfast.
The victory goes some way to avenging a tough loss in Belfast last month but the Mariners will more of the same if they are to push for the fourth and final playoff spot.
MARINERS 6-7 BLACK SOX
Greystones lost their second one-run game of the season on Saturday, their latest vanquishers, the Dublin Black Sox. The Mariners left bases loaded situations twice during the game, including the bottom of the last, and have only themselves to blame for their third loss in a row.
Irish third baseman Pat ?the Bat? Nolan broke open a scoreless game in the third with a three-run homerun deep over the left field fence. The clearly rattled Mariners gave up another two runs before returning to the dugout. The Black Sox scored two more in the fifth and Greystones were looking at a seven run deficit going into the sixth.
The Mariners were without two of their own internationals, Gareth Kelly and Hugh Cahill. Missing their big bats Greystones couldn?t muster a response to the Sox?s seven run lead until too late, with three Mariners crossing the plate in the sixth. The mariners pulled it back to 7-6 in the seventh but when Stephen Hayes grounded out to pitcher Eoin O?Connor the Mariners had lost their third straight.
There were several flashpoints during a bad tempered game which was no advertisement for the Irish Baseball League. Even after the final out feelings were running high with Mariners manager Jack ?The Hammer? Donnelly accusing the Sox?s Paul Peake of certain unsportsmanlike conduct on the field. The two teams meet again in July and it?s unlikely feelings will have simmered any.
In other weekend results the Panthers beat the Trojans while the Hurricanes beat the Blue Devils
MARINERS 3-6 NORTHSTARS
The Mariners are currently falling down a steep slope and after a fourth consecutive loss, the end appears nowhere in sight.
PANTHERS 4-23 MARINERS
The Greystones Mariners broke numerous scoring records Saturday in a one-sided victory over the Dublin Panthers in Dr. Hickey Park. Their 23 runs represents a new high for the home team, one better than their previous record. The visitors could manage only four in reply.
With the Panthers having already beaten the Mariners this season, Saturday?s match-up was a must-win for Greystones. They got off to a good start with a scoreless first. But some bizarre ground rules came into play in the second. Panthers? starting pitcher Glen Poor somehow ended up on third after hitting a single to right field. He duly scored and Greystones were 2-0 down going into the bottom half of the inning.
Then, a week after the 4th of July, came the fireworks. The Mariners were one player away from batting-around twice on their way to scoring 15 runs, another team record.
The contest was essentially ended when the Panthers could only double their score in the third. Needing four runs to invoke the mercy rule, Greystones scored eight with the aid of a towering home run from Muscles Kelly and a triple from John O?Reilly. There was no way back for the tired Panthers who had never before lost to the Mariners.
The Mariners have two games in Belfast at the weekend, two wins and they?ll be back in a playoff territory.
WOLVES 1-21 MARINERS
Greystones cemented their position as leading run scorers in the league with a comprehensive win over the Wolves in Belfast on Saturday. 21-1 was the final in a mercy-rule shortened five innings. The Visitors led 7-1 after the first, and with Jim Gorman in dominant form on the mound the Wolves never had a chance.
Greystones have scored an incredible 169 runs in their 11 outings this year. If they can keep that pace up and break the 200 run barrier over the final seven games a playoff spot looks assured.
MARINERS 16-14 Black Sox
The Mariners have averaged over 15 runs a game so far this season and they kept up this average in their road victory over the Dublin Black Sox on Sunday.
In truth Greystones needed every one of their 16 runs against a big scoring Black Sox offense who managed 14 in return.
The margin of victory perhaps should have been greater. Greystones? bats were consistent throughout the game, whereas the Black Sox relied on two error assisted innings to score the majority of their runs. They took a four-run lead in the fourth following two Mariners errors which led to seven unearned runs for ?Stones ace Jim Gorman.
But it?s been almost two months since the Mariners last left the field losers and the Sox simply couldn?t hold them back. Greystones had the lead by the sixth and with a two-run cushion going into the bottom of the last, held out to seal the win.
With a break of three weeks upon us due to the European Championships, the Mariners have time to recharge their arms ahead of the final playoff push of six games. They do so from fourth place in the league, their highest position for over 12 months.
The Wicklow men have three games against the leagues top two teams in August, but if their bats stay hot, they?ll be afraid of no side.
Winning pitcher: Jim Gorman
Losing pitcher: PJ Fox
MARINERS 12-8 HURRICANES
In three seasons the Mariners have faced the Hurricanes a half-dozen times. Each has been a loss. That streak ended Saturday as the Mariners blew the playoff race wide open with a 12-8 victory in Clondalkin.
The defending champion Hurricanes took on Greystones after disposing of the Spartans in the first half of a double-header. The league?s top team looked worth their lofty place in the standings. The ‘Canes brought their winning momentum into the Mariners game putting two runs on the board in the first inning. But that was if for a while. Gareth Donnelly replied instantly in the bottom of the inning and John O?Reilly was responsible for two more in the second as the Mariners took a 3-2 lead.
The Hurricanes regained the lead with a two-out bloop hit in the top of the fifth. The secondbaseman, shortstop and center fielder converged but as the ball dropped between them two runs scored. There was even more action in bottom half of the inning. Mariners’ ace Jim Gorman got into a tussle with ‘Canes catcher Tommy Kelley. Handbags were drawn and after Gorman was plunked it looked like they?d be used. But it turned out to be just the spark Greystones needed. Gorman got his free pass to first and the Hurricanes were suddenly at sea. Their infield crumbled and a host of errors and some clutch hitting saw Greystones take a four run lead. That margin was doubled an inning later and four Hurricanes? runs in the top of the last merely reduced their losing deficit.
It?s seven wins in a row now for the Mariners. They host the Spartans on Sunday in Greystones Rugby club in a doubleheader that may well settle second and third place.
Winning Pitcher: (and our hero) Jim Gorman
MARINERS 4-5 SPARTANS
MARINERS 7-8 SPARTANS
The Mariners? record-breaking win streak ground to a halt on Saturday against the Dublin Spartans. The visitors did just enough to take all eight points of the double header winning 5-4 and 8-7 in Greystones.
John Dillon?s sixth inning run scored on a two-out error was ultimately the difference in the first game, but Greystones weren?t without their chances.
It?s a credit to the Spartans that they held the Mariners to a mere 11 runs in 14 innings. Coming off a 12 -8 victory against the first place Hurricanes, Greystones were in confident mood. But that confidence led to a rash of base-running errors in the first game. The Mariners were caught off base at second, attempting to steal third, and crucially trying to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. In such a close game those mistakes came back to haunt the Mariners. Time after time their offense was left still-born when runners should potentially have been in scoring position.
There was good defense on both sides with neither team managing a break-out inning. Thus the scoring was treacle slow and both pitchers enjoyed some dominance on the mound.
The Mariners started the second game aggressively. They loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first but the Spartans held out. The bottom of the inning was a mirror image of the top. Three Spartans on base followed by three out and no runs.
After three innings though, Greystones were at the wrong end of a four-three scoreline. Greystones tied it up in the fourth. Then it was time for Jim Gorman to help himself out. A huge two run shot over the right field fence gave the Mariners a two run lead.
They couldn?t hold onto it.
Going into the top of the last it was the Spartans by two. Gareth Kelly pulled one back and Cian O?Donovan got on with one out. The one of the most extraordinary scenes ever witnessed on an Irish baseball field. A soft liner was hit to the Spartans short stop. Rushing in he made the catch and seeing O?Donovan had strayed off first he threw back to the bag. O?Donovan dived headfirst at the bag but made contact with Beglane on the way. The runner was out but Beglane thinking O?Donovan had been interested only in disrupting the play exploded in Krakatoan rage. Fists flew, bodies were put on the line and after several minutes the umpires had ejected three players from an already finished game.
It was a sour way to end two hugely competitive games. But the Mariners will be relishing the chance to make amends if the sides are drawn in the playoffs in a couple of weeks time.