With two outs and the score tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the 11th, the Mariners Christian Merriwether strode to the plate with the potential winning run on second. Despite nursing an 0-4 day at the plate, the College of Marin centerfielder did not let the pressure get to him, and lined a game winning single to the outfield, plating Pete Armusewicz to give Marin a 5-4 victory over visiting Laney College. Marin completed the three game sweep of Laney College to sit alone atop the Bay Valley Conference with a 12-3 record.
The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning. Mariners' starter Chase Gardner cruised through the first three innings of the game but ran into some trouble as Laney loaded the bases with nobody out. A singled scored a pair and Laney reloaded the bases via a walk with one out. A sacrifice fly scored their third run of the inning before a baserunner was thrown out trying to steal second.
The score did not remain 3-0 for long as Marin loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Marcus Chiu was hit by a pitch followed by Adam Hussain and Jakob Davidson who both worked a walk. Jake Munoz followed and was hit by a pitch to score Marin's first run. Bryan Jakiemiec ground into a fielder's choice plating Marin's second. Although College of Marin had runners on the corners with one away, they were unable to pull even.
Gardner retired Laney in order in the top of the fifth to give his team a chance to take the lead in the bottom half. With one away Dominic Burke singled and moved to third on a fielding error off the bat of Chiu. After a strikeout, Chiu stole second with Davidson at the plate. Davidson delivered with a two run single to give Marin a 4-3 advantage.
The slim lead was immediately trimmed as Laney led off the top of the sixth with a walk and single to put runners at the corners. A chopper towards first was too slow to come home with, as Laney scored the tying run.
At that point the game became a stingy pitcher's duel. Marin was unable to find a breakthrough in nine innings of regulation, as was the same for Laney. Gardner threw seven innings for Marin and allowed four hits, four runs and two walks while striking out 10 of the Laney opposition. Bret Bowyer relieved Gardner and threw a pair of hitless innings, allowing just two walks while striking out three. Dominic Garihan took over in the 10th inning and hurled two excellent innings of his own, yielding a single hit and striking out a pair.
While Marin pitchers held the Laney bats silent, Marin made just enough noise in the bottom of the 11th. Jakiemiec was hit by a pitch and was pinch run for by Armusewicz. He moved to second on a ground out, and remained there after a strikeout for the second out of the inning. Merriwether stepped to the plate and delivered the walk off hit.
Burke had three hits and scored a run for Marin while Davidson had a pair of RBIs. Merriwether had just one hit, but it was crucial in his team's victory.
The Mariners have another busy week ahead as they face Solano College three times in the penultimate week of the regular season.