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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN

Victoria, BC (ISN) – After easily beating the Victoria Eagles 8-1 last Thursday night, the Victoria Junior Premier Mariners continued their winning ways with a 6-2 and 6-4 win over the visiting Coquitlam Reds on Saturday at Henderson Park in Victoria.

Dan Phillips took to the mound for Game 1 and after retiring the first two batters, suddenly found himself in trouble with two Coquitlam runners on base. Kevin Heidema would then single to left, however a perfect throw from the Mariner’s Jesse Mycock to catcher Brandon Ashford nailed Reds runner TJ McCullough at the plate to end the inning.

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The Mariners Dan Phillips would get the Game 1 win Saturday, throwing 5 innings and scattering 6 hits (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

The M’s would then respond quickly, as they took advantage of two Red errors and a sacrifice fly from Ashford, to score Michael Varley, who had reached on one of the errors, and take a 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless second inning, the Mariners would break things open a bit in the third, scoring 3 runs on the strength of leadoff singles from Varley and Evan Badry and a 2-RBI double by Tanner Hess. Hess would then come around to score on a wild pitch and the Mariners led 4-0.

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This throw by Jesse Mycock would be a perfect strike to the plate, nailing a Coquitlam runner in the first inning (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

The Reds would threaten off Phillips in the 4th, at one point loading the bases, but could only come away with a single run, as the Mariners defence made some good plays to help their pitcher and keep any additional runs from scoring.

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Tanner Hess’s 2-RBI double would break open the game in the 3rd inning (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Taking advantage of some sloppy Red defence in the bottom of the inning, the Mariners would respond with 2 more runs, both of which would come on the same wild pitch as Ashford (who singled) and Hess (who walked) came in to score with Dakota St. Laurent at the plate.

With Phillips still on the mound in the top of the 5th, the Reds would score again as leadoff hitter Austen Butler drew a walk and eventually came in to score on a error by Mariner shortstop Michael Varley. Phillips would then use a fly out to right and a ground out to short to once again get out of the inning and keep the M’s in front 6-2.

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The M’s defence executed well Saturday with Tanner Hess here tagging out Coquitlam’s Austen Butler in a rundown (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

In the 6th inning, the Mariners sent ace reliever Mitch Bryan to the mound. Bryan, who had yet to allow an earned run in 11 inning of relief work so far this year, looked to have that streak in jeopardy, as the Reds Dalton Anderson led off with a single and the Jonathan Keltie followed that up with a double down the left field line.

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Victoria’s Zack Downey had another solid defensive game Saturday, earlier making a highlight reel line drive catch, and here turning a double play (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

However, Anderson, instead of holding at third to give the Reds runners at 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, decided to challenge the Mariner defence by trying to score, but a perfect relay from Mycock to third baseman Tanner Hess to catcher Ashford cut down the run at the plate, keeping the Reds off the board.

After a walk and a ground-out, Bryan appeared to injure his arm and had to leave the game, leaving his ERA streak in the hands of lefty Kieran Russell who came in to relieve. Russell would not disappoint, inducing a fly-out to right to end the inning and stranding the Reds runner on third.

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Mitch Bryan (left) – who would keep his 0.00 ERA intact – and Kieran Russell (right), would combine in relief of starter Dan Phillips to pitch a scoreless 6th and 7th innings (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

The Mariners would not add any insurance in the bottom of the 6th and then Russell would retire the side in the 7th to close out the 6-2 win.

Dan Phillips, who scattered 6 hits and 4 walks over his 5 innings of work, would get the win, with Russell getting the save. Tanner Hess, with a double and 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored and Jesse Mycock, with a pair of hits, led the Mariner offence.

In Game 2 of the set, the Mariners would score 3 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning to overcome a 3-1 deficit and then add 2 more insurance runs in the bottom of the 6th, to emerge with a 6-4 victory.

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Jesse Mycock would have 2 hits and play a solid defensive game for the Mariners in Game 1 Saturday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

The Mariners would take advantage of 6 Coquitlam errors to score the bulk of their runs, as the Red pitchers held the M’s to just 4 hits on the day.

Nic Dawson would get the start for Victoria and scatter 7 hits over his 6 and 1/3 innings of work to get the win. Reliever Jacob Barnard would step in in the 7th to get the final two outs and earn the save.

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Lucas Piechnik would spark the Mariner offence by scoring 2 runs in Game 2 (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

With the wins the Junior M’s now move to a record of 20-16 and have moved into a tie with Abbotsford for 4th place in the BCJPBL standings.

The M’s will be right back in action Sunday as they host the league leading Langley Blaze in a key match up at Henderson Park.