Round 19 – Seniors Major 2nd Grade
On Saturday the Shoalhaven Mariners 2nd grade travelled to Cringila to take on the league leading Wollongong Cardinals. With the Cardinals already securing the minor premiership, the Mariners were keen to lock in 2nd place by winning both remaining games of the regular season.
The Mariners were up to bat first and hit the ground running, batting through the line-up and scoring 6 early runs. With Cardinals regular starting pitcher Rob Cauduro unavailable, starting pitcher Alex Kennedy floundered and was replaced without recording an out. Walks and some good Mariners hitting doing the damage.
In contrast, Mariners starting pitcher Brenton McMahon retired the first three Cardinals hitters in order.
With Mariners unable to trouble the scores at the top of the 2nd inning the Cardinals were up to bat again. A Craig Bonham triple soon turn into a run for the Cardinals before they were retired.
Pitching dominated the 3rd inning with neither side able to record any runs. Cardinals speedster Mitchell Davis did reach base on a hit to right field but was gunned down by Mariners catcher Dan Kelly while trying to steal 2nd base.
In 4th inning action and with one out, Mariners Michael Vine drove the ball to the right field gap. With the outfield playing shallow and the ball going all the way to the fence, Vine was able to run the bases for a spectacular in the park home run.
At the bottom of the inning Mariners pitcher Brenton McMahon continued his dominance over the Cardinals hitters allowing just their 3rd hit of the game but retiring the side without score.
The 5th inning brought about another Cardinals pitching change as Craig Bonham took to the mound for the home side. With one out Bonham struggled and hit 2 of the next 4 Mariners hitters. Gabe Tate finishing the rest of the game from the sideline with a sickening blow to the knee. Mariners were able to add two additional insurance runs before they were retired.
McMahon, backed up by some great fielding from Michael Vine retired the Cardinals in order at the bottom of the 5th.
The Mariners were unable to add any further runs at the top of the 6th inning, but with an 8 run buffer the home side could only manage 2 runs in the last inning. Mariners defeating the Cardinals 9-3.
Mariners hits going to Michael Vine (2), HR & 1B and singles going to Lee Lawson, Andrew Provest, Dan Kelly and Brenton McMahon.
Brenton McMahon threw his best game of the season and ended with 84 pitches, 55 strikes, 5 hits, 3 strikeouts, 3 earned run and no walks.
Next week the Mariners will play their last regular season game against the Berkeley 2B side at the IBL field in Berkeley.