Mariners win 3 of 4 against Athletics

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Story and Photographs by Glenn Ivens (www.javalon.smugmug.com)

The Victoria Mariners and Okanagan Athletics took to the field at Henderson Park bright and early on Sunday morning for a triple header of BC Premier Baseball games. The Athletics opened the day with an 8-7 victory but the Mariners closed it with a 10-4 and 7-5 wins to take the 4 game set 3-1.

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Nick Gardler delivers a pitch for the Victoria Mariners in BCPBL action against the Okanagan Athletics on Sunday. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

Game One saw the Mariners send Nathan McKinlay to the hill while Okanagan countered with Nolan Handley.

The Mariners got things started with a bang when Jesse Hodges smacked a 2 run home run in the top of the 1st inning, then added another off a Morgan Varley single. The A’s answered back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning one that saw Josh Croft score from 1st base off a fielder’s error, to keep things close.

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Jesse Hodges had a strong day at the plate with 7 hits and 5 RBI’s for the Victoria Mariners. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

The M’s added to their lead in the 2nd when Daryl Blaskovich singled to score Jesse Long and David Warren. They increased the lead to 4 runs in the 3rd inning when Matthew Wellington crossed the plate.

The Athletics bats came alive in the 4th, three straight singles lead to Nathan Ackerman scoring. Brandon Sonnenberg would add another before Kody Smith blasted a double that scored Dallis Senger and brought the A’s to within a run.

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Okanagan’s Morgan Lofstrom is unable to beat the throw to Victoria’s Jesse Long during BCPBL  action at Henderson Park on Sunday. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

The Mariners brought Nicholas Gardler in to pitch in the 5th inning only to have Okanagan take the lead on a pair of runs by Dawson Yates and Ackerman.

Drayson Lum would tie the game for the Mariners off an error and the fans were getting a sense of déjà vu of yesterday’s 12 inning marathon. Unfortunately for the Mariners it was not to be as they were unable to turn a double play which resulted in Yates scoring to give the Athletics an 8-7 victory.

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Drayson Lum celebrates after scoring the tieing run for the Victoria Mariners in game 1 of a Sunday triple header at Henderson Park. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

Okanagan’s James Walker earned the win going 5 1/3 innings allowing just 3 hits with 6 strike outs. McKinlay finished the day for the Mariners with 7 hits and 5 strike outs in 4 innings of work and Gardler took the loss allowing 2 hits and 3 runs, one of them earned, in 2 1/3 innings.

The Mariners regrouped for Game 2 sending Hodges to the mound while Clinton Heiderecht got the call for the Athletics.

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Jesse Hodges got the start on the mound for the Victoria Mariners in Game 2 of a triple header with the Okanagan Athletics. (photos by Glenn Ivens)

After a fly out and ground out by the first two Athletics hitters they managed to string together three straight singles that allowed Yates to open the scoring.

The Mariners would answer right back with a pair of singles and a walk before Hodges helped his own cause with a 2 run double. Ty Russell would then score on a sacrifice fly before Hodges crossed the plate on an Evan Willow single.

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Junior Premier call up Chris Fougner continued his fine play with 4 hits and 2 RBI’s against the Okanagan Athletics on Sunday. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

With the score 6-2 in the 4th inning the Mariners added a pair when Blaskovitch scored off a wild pitch and Morgan Varley smacked a single to score Russell.

The Athletics rallied in the 5th scoring 3 runs, two off an Ackerman single that lead to an error, but the Mariners would add 2 more in the 6th to stake a 10-4 win.

With the mercury hovering in the high twenties the teams took to the field for the 3rd and final game of the day. Blaskovich took the mound for the Mariners and Jordan Ramirez for the Athletics.

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Daryl Blaskovich takes off for first base after getting a hit against the Okanagan Athletics during BCPBL action at Henderson Park. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

The Mariners opened the scoring in the 2nd inning with Fougner and Varley reaching home. They would add two more in the 3rd. from Matt Bryan and Fougner, for a four run lead then build on that in the 4th with runs from Lum, Warren and Bryan to stake a 7-0 lead that would stand until the 7th inning.

Blaskovich got into some trouble in the 7th and after the Athletics had cut the lead to 5 off runs by Yates and Ackerman, Josh Croft smacked a two out bases loaded double that scored 3 and brought the Athletics to within two. The Mariners brought in Erik Phillips to close things and preserve the 7-5 win.

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Matt Bryan lays down a bunt in game against the Okanagan Athletics at Henderson Park on Sunday. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

The Mariners still sit in 4th place overall but have closed the gap to 5 games on the league leading Langley Blaze and are only 1.5 games back of 3rd place. They will look to build on that Wednesday when they travel to Parksville for pair of games with the last place Royals, then head to the lower mainland to battle the North Delta Blue Jays before heading home to take on the Vancouver Cannons at Layritz Park on Sunday.

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