The Middle Rock Mariners Baseball Club played the Port Macquarie Spartans at Begley Field on Sunday, May 19.
The Spartans opened the game with an outstanding display of hitting which put the Mariners on the back foot right from the first innings. The Spartans had nine safe hits and two walks to score a potential winning 10 runs.
The Mariners fightback started in their first innings at bat. Matt Lenton scored after picking out a base on balls and being driven home by Warren Collins.
From this point on the Mariners defence and attack improved dramatically. The team only conceded two more runs in the next five innings and remarkably only gave up three safe hits and making only one error in five superb innings.
With the bat over those same five innings the team had six safe hits and five walks. The hits and walks were unfortunately spread out and produced only three more runs. So although dominating the game for the final five innings they had to accept that their poor start cost them any chance of winning the game. The final score of 12/4 to the Spartans did not really reflect the effort and skill the Mariners showed for the bulk of the game.
Matt Lenton pitched well holding the Spartans to one run for three innings after the disastrous start. Late in the game Warren Collins took over the mound for two innings giving up only one run. Collins has a late swinging drop curve that is almost unplayable and will develop into an excellent closing pitcher as the season progresses.
With the bat Marty Dures once again starred making first base every time he batted, having two safe hits and a walk as well as driving in a run. Ben Williams, Warren Collins, Brock Colley and Matt Lenton all had safe hits.
The team needs to overcome their slow starts to games. If this can be done then the Mariners first win is not far away.
The Reserve Grade Team were beaten 7/6. After starting well the team gave up seven unearned runs in the second innings and although they fought back they were unable to close the gap. Tim Moore and Mick Prosser both had two safe hits while every batter made it to 1 st base in a showing of the potential of this developing team.