Just one game in the MASA Men’s Blue Water Fastpitch Tourney is in the books, and the Great Lakes Mariners are the team that struck first.
Under the lights at Pine Grove Park, the Mariners used stellar pitching and frequent hitting to top the Port Huron Rebels, 5-2.
The Mariners threw out some big arms to the rubber, with Doug Gillis hurling eight strikeouts in four innings and Tyler Kelly throwing seven strikeouts in three innings. For the Rebels, Adam Moon went all seven innings and logged eight strikeouts.
The first two innings kept the scoreboard unlit, but the third inning is when the Mariners tallied their first run off an RBI single by Craig Scott.
The Rebels looked to get at least one run back in the bottom of the frame as they had bases loaded with just one out. However, Gillis hammered the strike zone to get back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
The Mariners tacked on another in the top of the fourth inning when Pell’s fielder’s choice brought home Tyler Kelly with one out.
This time, in the bottom of the fourth, the Rebels did get that run back. With two outs Andy Triest put down a bunt, but a throwing error sent the ball to right field and scored John Halliday, who hauled it home from first base.
That 2-1 score was quickly changed to 3-1 in the Mariners favor when Justin Krenzke launched an inside-the-park homer, easily scoring without a play at the plate.
The Mariners pressed for runs once again in the sixth inning as they had runners on second and third with two outs. However, Rebels shortstop Lee Foco made a backhanded play at shortstop that looked like his hands were in fast forward, getting the out at first to end the inning.
Tyron McKinney threw an insurance run on the board in the top of the seventh when his screaming line drive to right field scored Krenzke with two outs, making it 4-1. That lead was bumped up to 5-1 when Kelly scored from third on a wild pitch.
The Rebels tried to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the seventh, getting Triest home from second on a double from Foco to make it 5-2 to end the night’s scoring.
The tournament continues with games starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m. between Pine Grove Park and 16th Street Park. The Rebels will head back to Pine Grove Park to face St. Thomas at 3 p.m. and Waterdown at 5 p.m.
The tournament’s semifinal games will be played at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at both parks, with the championship slated to begin at 1:30 p.m. at Pine Grove Park.
Contact Matt Sheehan at (810)-989-6267 or firstname.lastname@example.org.