Kentfield, CA—The College of Marin went on the road Saturday morning to take on the Napa Valley Storm with a chance to sweep the week at a perfect 3-0 after defeating Contra Costa and Solano by a combined 13 runs. The Mariners looked to stay hot at the plate against Napa Valley and continue their late push towards a playoff berth.
Chris Hayman started off the game by taking one for the team, being hit by his team high eleventh HBP, to get aboard. Hayman advanced to third on starting pitcher and designated hitter Jaymes Potts single, Potts would be thrown out trying to advance to second after a quick bobble in right field. Matt Tarantino put a fly ball into right field, Hayman tagged up and scored the first run of the game. With 2 outs and no one on Ryan Schalch came to the plate and, like Hayman, was tagged by a pitch. Schalch moved over to second after swiping his fourth bag of the year, putting him into scoring position for Jacob Davidson. Davidson sharply hit a grounder up the middle on a full count pitch to score Schalch, making it a 2-0 lead for Marin.
Potts, making his sixth start of the year for the Mariners, had another strong outing on the bump. The sophomore gave up just 4 hits through five innings of work. In the bottom of the sixth the Storm started getting things rolling, down 3-0 after Marin was able to tack on an extra run in the top of the third. After an infield single and a bunt moved a runner into scoring position for the first time on the afternoon Napa Valley plated their first run to make it a 3-1 lead for the Mariners.
In the bottom of the seventh the Storm were able to draw a rare walk off of Potts to start off the half inning. The second infield hit in as many innings for Napa Valley put two on and one out for the nine hole hitter, Matt Miles, who lined a double into the left center gap to tie the game at 3.
With the game suddenly knotted at 3 a sense of urgency fueled Marin in the top of the eighth. Back-to-back singles by Davidson and Kennedy led off the inning for the Mariners. Jason Rodriguez ground a single down the left field line all the way to the wall to plate both baserunners, putting Marin back on top 5-3.
Ryan Schalch moved from first to the mound to take over for Potts. Schalch struck out the side, but not before the Storm were able to score one run, moving the game to 5-4 heading into the 9th. Matt Tarantino was hit by a pitch with one out and Schalch drew a walk on a full count to set the table for Jake Davidson with one out and a one run game. Davidson dropped a soft line drive into center field to score Tarantino from second. Paul Kennedy singled and advanced to second on a throwing error, which Schalch was able to score on. With Kennedy and Davidson in scoring position and a 7-4 lead Tyler Torres came to the plate looking for his first hit on the day—and it was well worth the wait. Torres crushed a ball over the head of Napa's centerfielder and by the time the throw got back to the infield Torres was easily in at third base. The bases clearing triple put Marin on top 9-4.
With the 5 run lead Schalch picked up two more punchouts and induced a fielder's choice to close out the game, picking up the two inning save, his fourth save on the year.
With the win Marin moves to an impressive 20-13 on the year and 13-8 in the Bay Valley Conference. Despite sitting in fourth place the Mariners still have a shot at the playoffs. In the final three games Marin will square off with Los Medanos, Mendocino, and Laney.
WP: Jaymes Potts (5-1) 7.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
SV: Ryan Schalch (4) 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO
Ryan Schalch: 2-3, 3R, SB
Jake Davidson: 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Paul Kennedy: 3-4, 2R, RBI