Kentfield, CA—After a wild game against Los Medanos on Tuesday the Mariners were back at it on Thursday against the Eagles of Mendocino. As the Mariners make their march towards a potential playoff berth they looked to stay locked in with the task at hand, and not overlook the Eagles.
Sophomore Jaymes Potts made his seventh start on the year on the rubber for the Mariners. Like all season long, he pounded the zone and let his defense do the work for him. Through 5 innings of work Potts allowed just 3 base runners, and had not allowed a hit.
The Marin offense went to work in the bottom of the first and promptly plated a run, with Matt Tarantino bringing in Chris Hayman from third base on a single into left. The Mariners had the bases-loaded, with no outs, after Ryan Schalch was hit by a pitch to bring up Jacob Davidson to try to blow the game wide open in the bottom of the first. But Davidson hit into a 5-2 Fielder's Choice, and was then called out for interference after being hit in the back by Eagles catcher Quentin Shy's throw to first base to try for the double play. The first inning would end with just a 1-0 lead for Marin, despite the great opportunity.
Marin added on to their lead in the third, grabbing two more runs as Davidson brought in Potts, who pitched and was the designated hitter, from third base on a sacrifice fly to the warning track in left field. Paul Kennedy then pushed a grounder through the right side to plate Tarantino, making it a 3-0 lead for Marin.
The 3-0 margin would hold up against the Eagles until the top of the sixth when Mendocino would get their first hit of the day off of Potts. A double down the left field line put Connor Franz into scoring position for the Eagles. A soft line drive into left that got past the defense allowed Franz to score and got the Eagles offense clicking. Mendocino would end up tying the game at 3 before the top of the third came to a close.
The deadlock at 3 would last until the bottom of the seventh when Potts sent a double into the left-center gap with one out. Tarantino, in a 2-2 count, sent the ball into left field, allowing Potts to score his second run of the game and put Marin back on top 4-3.
With Cooper Casad out on the mound taking over for Potts Mendocino second baseman Dylan Lancaster put a ball off the right field wall and legged out a triple with one out in the top of the eight. After a strikeout from Casad the Eagles were able to drop a hit into right field to tie the game at four.
The game would remain at 4 going into the bottom of the ninth. The top of the Mariners order came up, knowing that their playoff hopes were on the line, and produced. Hayman sent a single up the middle in a full count to get the winning run aboard. Potts drew a walk to put two on and no outs for Matt Tarantino. The Mariners shortstop barreled up a pitch and sent it into centerfield, but it was run down by Lukas Perderson and the runners could not tag up. That brought up Ryan Schalch, the Bay Valley Conference leader in RBIs, who was looking for his first hit of the afternoon. The wait would be well worth it. In a 1-0 count Schalch crushed a mistake over the wall in centerfield and sent the Mariners home in walk-off fashion, a 7-4 victory.
The game-winning home run from Schalch keeps Marin's playoff hopes alive and makes the Mariners a perfect 5-0 in their last two weeks of play.
WP: Cooper Casad (7-4) 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K.
Matt Tarantino: 3-5, 2 RBI, R
Jaymes Potts: 3-4, 2B, 3R
Ryan Schalch: 1-4, HR (7), 3 RBI