A pitcher's duel early, turned into a slugfest that was eventually won by the home team, the Laney College Eagles. The Mariners took a big lead in the top of the fourth but could not hang on to their advantage. Tied at 7-7 late, Laney untied the game with a booming home run in the bottom of the eighth that proved to be the difference in an 8-7 final.
The Mariners and Eagles failed to score through the first third of the game, but the prospect of a low scoring game was dashed in the top of the fourth.
MacLean Meyn led off for the Mariners with a triple and scored as Adam Hussain followed with a double. Hussain moved to third on a wild pitch and came in on single by James Harwell for a 2-0 lead. Dominic Burke singled and an error put him and Harwell on second and third with nobody out. Davis Barkocy lofted a sacrifice fly to plate Harwell for the third run before Randy Fernandez and Christian Merriwether walked to load the bases. Jake Munoz followed with the first big blow of the game, a ringing double that cleared the bases and gave the Mariners a 6-0 lead.
Marin's sizeable lead did not last long. Jason Wutsch started for the Mariners and allowed two walks and no hits through the first three innings. The fourth was more difficult as Laney loaded the bases on three straight singles to lead off. A sacrifice fly put Laney on the board 6-1. With two away a single plated two more to cut the Marin lead to 6-3. Two more singles reloaded the bases, and after Michael Benz relieved Wutsch a pair of by pitches scored a pair and reduced the Mariners lead to 6-5.
Both teams failed to score in the fifth but Laney got back on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning. A double and a groundout put a runner on third with one away. Another groundout plated a run, tying the game at 6-6. The next batter singled and stole second before scoring on another single for a 7-6 Laney lead.
Marin responded in the top of the seventh as Alex Davis singled with one down and moved to second on a wild pitch. He advanced to third on a groundout before scoring on a single by Adam Hussain to retie the game at 7-7. Ryan Moyer and Nick Roth combined to keep Laney scoreless in the bottom half.
Marin could not untie the game in the top of the eighth, but Laney had better luck in the bottom half. With two down Kevin Whitak hit a long home run to untie the game and give the Eagles an 8-7 lead.
Marin had one last chance to tie the game in the ninth. Christian Merriwether singled to lead off but was caught stealing and the following two hitters struck out to end the game.
Hussain had two hits and two RBIs on the day while Munoz had three RBIs from his fourth inning double. Nick Roth took the loss as he yielded the game deciding home run in the eighth.
The loss is the Mariners third in four games after stringing together 13 straight victories. Despite the slight bump they still sit in first place with a game lead over the Los Medanos Mustangs.
The rubber match of the Laney series is Saturday, April 14th at Laney College at 1pm.