College of Marin Baseball game started on a sour note, but the ending flourish was ever so sweet. The Mariners fell behind 4-0 after three innings of play but rallied back to tie on three occasions against the Mendocino College Eagles. They extended the game with a ninth inning run before Eric Woodrow drove in Conor Bardue as the eventual winning run in a 7-6 10 inning victory. Michael Benz came on in relief in the sixth inning and earned the extra inning victory.
The game started off the wrong way for Marin as they yielded three runs in the first, after failing to score in the top half. Demian White started for the Mariners and fell victim to four straight hits with one away in the first. A double scored two and a groundout plated Mendocino's third run. Both teams did not score in the second but the home team added a fourth run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly.
The Mariners threatened but could not get on the board in the fourth or fifth innings, but finally broke through in a big way in the top of the sixth. Jacob Berg doubled to lead off and Anthony Pomilia followed with a booming two run homer to cut Mendocino's lead in half. Landen Moran following with a homer of his own and in the span of three batters Marin trailed by just a run 4-3. The Mariners did not stop there as Nicholas Caravello singled, and stole second. He scored on a two out single by Casey Armusewicz to tie the game up at 4-4.
The lead did not last long as Matthew Lozovoy relieved white and got the first out of the sixth before allowing three singles that scored one for Mendocino. He loaded the bases with two outs before Benz came into strikeout the final batter of the inning.
Marin struck back in the top of the seventh with back to back singles by Pomilia and Moran with one away. Caravello followed with a single of his own to retie the game at 5-5.
The see saw score line went back towards the Eagles as they took the lead in again in the seventh. Benz allowed a one out infield single and they advanced to second on an error. The following hitter doubled to put Mendocino back on top 6-5. At that point on, Mendocino did not score.
The Mariners kept up empty in the eighth but manufactured the tying run in the top of the ninth. Led off with a walk and stole second. After a flyout, Moran singled to push Berg to third. Caravello came up in the clutch yet again and delivered a run scoring sacrifice fly to tie the game up at 6-6.
Mendocino threatened to win on a walk off but were repelled in the bottom of the ninth. A leadoff single and sac bunt put the winning run in scoring position with one out. Benz forced a comebacker for the second out, but the runner advanced to third. After a walk, Benz jammed the Mendocino hitter for a popup to end the inning.
Bardue singled to lead off the 10th and stole second with one out. After Kole Morgan popped out, Woodrow delivered a two out double to put the Mariners in the lead 7-6. Benz buckled down and struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th with a lone single mixed in.
It was an electrifying game with a number of lead changes and great individual performances.
Pomilia was 3-5 with a home run and two RBIs, while Landen Moran had four hits including a home run in the game. Benz was tremendous in relief, earning his third win of the year as he struck out eight in 4.1 innings and allowed just one unearned run.
The victory improved the Mariners' record to 2-0 in the Bay Valley Conference and 8-9 overall on the year.
They have three games remaining on this week's schedule. They play Mendocino College on Thursday, March 14th, Napa Valley College on Friday, March 15th and Mendocino again on Saturday, March 16th. All three games are at Santa Rosa Junior College with the Mariners designated the home team in both games against Mendocino.