The Middle Rock Mariners got off to a promising start against the Pirates in their Baseball Game at Blackbutt Reserve on Sunday, June 23.
The Mariners were first to bat. Marty Dures and Tim Harris picked out walks and Matt Lenton hit safely to load the bases. The potential was there for the Mariners to open up a good first innings lead. However, the Pirates pitcher G Carney retired the side, leaving the three runners stranded. The Mariners' pitcher Matt Lenton gave away one run but finished the first innings with two impressive strike outs. This left the Mariners trailing one nil.
The Mariners failed to score in the second innings, despite hitting the ball hard on two occasions to the left field side. Lenton replied with two more strike outs and a catch taken by Brock Colley finished off the Pirates' batters.
Todd Reid started the third innings with a hit to right field and then stole second base. Once again the Mariners' batters left Reid stranded on second base. The Pirates were able to turn two walks and two safe hits into two runs, giving them a 3/0 lead.
The fourth innings saw the Mariners turn the best play of the day, when they executed a perfect double play. Pitcher Matt Lenton fielded a hard hit ball, threw it to second baseman Kye Dures, who then fired the ball to first baseman Warren Collins. With five innings completed the Pirates held a 4/0 lead. A tiring Lenton gave away two safe hits and a walk before Warren Collins was called to the mound. Collins possesses a deadly drop curve and tried to stem the Pirates' batters, but at the end of the sixth the Pirates had ten runs. The never give up attitude of the Mariners saw them fight back with three safe hits and score three runs leaving the final score 10/3.
Spectators were left with the feeling that if the Mariners had scored those three runs in the first innings, maybe the result could have been very different. Kye Dures starred with the bat, having two safe hits and a run batted in.
In Reserve Grade the Mariners put together their best game of the year. They held the powerful Pirates team to only eight runs. Leigh I'Anson pitched well, giving away only seven safe hits in four innings. He was replaced by Tim Moore who pitched two scoreless innings and was helped by a wonderful fielding display by third baseman Leigh I'Anson. I'Anson helped retire three batsmen in the final innings. The final score of 8/2 shows just how much this team has improved during the season.