The Mariners brushed off a difficult defense afternoon on Tuesday, with an excellent all-around game on Thursday at Diablo Valley College. The Mariners broke a 1-1 tie in with two runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to defeat the Vikings 5-1 in Pleasant Hill. Jason Wutsch threw six excellent innings while Alex Davis and Jake Munoz each delivered run scoring doubles late in the game. The win improved the Mariners record to 2-1 early on in the season.
Both starters hurled zeros to start off the game. Wutsch allowed just one hit and one walk through the first five innings, while the Marin offense was limited to only to just three hits and a hit by pitch in the same span of time.
The top of the sixth saw the Mariners break the deadlock as Alex Davis doubled to lead off, he advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, before scoring on a wild pitch. Marin's 1-0 lead did not last long as the leadoff hitter for the Vikings reached on an error, stole second and scored on two consecutive wild pitches. After a strikeout and a walk, Wutsch induced a double play ground ball to end the inning tied 1-1.
Owen Hamilton had a one out double for the Mariners in the seventh but was doubled off on a hard liner to right off the bat of Randy Fernandez. Benz relieved Wutsch in the bottom half of the inning and retired the side with just a hit by pitch.
Diablo Valley removed their starter in the eighth and Marin made hay against the bullpen. Christian Merriwether singled to lead off and scored with one out on an RBI double by Davis. After a single by James Harwell, Davis scored on a strikeout wild pitch combo to increase the lead to 3-1 Marin. Jack Hill took over for Marin in the eighth and allowed a leadoff single before a flyout and a double play ended the inning.
The Mariners added on in the ninth with runners on the corners and two away. Jake Munoz doubled to left center field, plating Hamilton and Merriwether which increased their advantage to 5-1. Hill remained on the bump for Marin in the bottom of the ninth and retired the side in order with two strikeouts for the save.
Benz was credited with his first win of the season for his work in the scoreless seventh inning. Davis had three hits and two doubles on the afternoon with two runs and an RBI, Merriwether had two hits and scored two runs. Hamilton had a pair of doubles and a run while Munoz had two hits and two RBI of his own.
The Mariners are in the midst of three games in as many days. They play at Folsom Lake College on Friday before hosting Diablo Valley at Sonoma State on Saturday, February 3rd.