Greystones Mariners B – 26
Cavan Comets – 0
Greystones Mariners B – 26
Cavan Comets – 3
Opening Day in baseball tends to be accompanied by a slew of cliches about the anxious reawakening of our beloved pastime and of the sensuous delights of the fresh spring afternoons that greet it – the smell of newly mown Kentucky bluegrass playing fields and the like. Well for one thing, the Peace Link in Clones where the Mariners kicked off their B League campaign with a double header against the Cavan Comets on Sunday features an artificial turf playing field and hence only smells of old car tyres. For another, there was absolutely nothing sleepy about the Mariners bats coming off of the long winter break as hitters from top to bottom of the lineup stroked line drive after line drive in a manner considerably more befitting of a mid season stride than early tentative hacks.
Of particular note were the contributions of debutants Dan Sykes, who recorded three doubles and a triple over the course of an 8 for 11 day, and Matt Green, who achieved double digits with 10 hits including ta couple of two baggers and a bases clearing triple. The third debutant on the day, Louis Oakes, added three more hits, a couple of rbis and four runs of his own to cap off a very strong start for 2017’s rookies.
Of the veteran Mariners, Paddy Fleming fell just a home run short of hitting for the cycle in the opening game of the day, while Tom Aron, John Marcus and Mark Ward were a constant presence on the bases, notching up hits and driving in runs at will throughout the afternoon.
On the pitching side, it was another dominant performance from phenom Osas Ewansiha in the first game of the two. With his tailing fastball painting the corners and his sharp curveball buckling the knees of the Cavan hitters, he recorded 14 strikeouts in a mercy rule shortened game where only 15 outs were necessary to complete it. In the end, it was just a first inning single from Forrest Pierce that kept Osas from adding “no hitter” to his complete game shut-out.
With Aidan Kelly going on the DL late in the week due to a minor knee injury it was up to Tom Aron and Mark Ward to hold the fort in the second game and between them they gave up just two earned runs with Tom recording five strikeouts and Mark notching two in his one inning of work.
The Mariners have a few weeks off before going back to work again on the 23rd of April when they’ll face off against last year’s beaten grand finalist Hurricanes. After the Hurricanes themselves got off to a winning start against the Spartans on Sunday, it looks primed to be a continuation of the heated rivalry of last year which saw the Mariners edge the season series, winning two of the three matchups between the sides.