Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeSportHigh SchoolQuarterfinals Equals Final Game of Mariner Baseball Season

Quarterfinals Equals Final Game of Mariner Baseball Season

The Section 7A Silver Bay Baseball team were flying high after their playoff sweep on Thursday, June 1st after what Coach Wallen called “Another great day for Mariners Base­ball!”. After besting both of the Cook County and Barnum teams, they advanced into the quarterfinals. The Mariners would be headed to the play in Virginia the following Tuesday.

On Monday, the team held their annual ban­quet to celebrate the season. The team pre­sented a ball they all had signed to their only senior player, Chase Mallory. (Hold onto that, Chase! No doubt it will be worth something on eBay eventually.) The team also presented Coach Wallen with an odd gift. I asked him about it after the game. It’s clear that he has a sense of humor when he told me that they had given a cane, teasing him and calling him old.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t good luck,” he said, after the Mariners lost to the Ely Tim­berwolves at the first quarterfinal game this past Tuesday with a final score of 4-2.

I arrived at the top of the 2nd inning and the score was already 3-0. Silver Bay was not off to a great start in the impressive new field at Rock Ridge High School. The Frandsen Bank and Trust field is quite impressive, shiny, and new. The synthetic turf ensures grass stain free laundry but, I was told by a frustrated fan, also causes the ball to bounce a bit differ­ently than what the team was used to.

At the bottom of the 3rd, Jacob Carpenter took the pitcher’s mound. He pitched well, with a strike outs in both the 3rd and the 4th innings and two in the 5th. There was al­most another run at the bottom of the 5th, but catcher Chase Mallory tagged out the player running to home plate.

Though, at the end of the game, the Coach admitted that “Ely outplayed us,” that was not the case at the top of the 6th.

Leadoff hitter Randy Ernest walked after being struck by a pitch. He was out at sec­ond when his teammate Andrew Wehrman hit a single. The pitcher didn’t seem to trust Andrew on first base and kept a close eye, throwing the ball at the first baseman repeat­edly to try to tag him out. Chase Mallory then hit a pop fly to the outfield that was missed by the Timberwolves. When Jacob Carpenter walked to first, bases were loaded.

Braylen Hoff paused before stepping up to the plate as Coach Wallen whispered, what I’m sure was words of wisdom, in his ear. Whatever it was, it worked. Braylen smacked the ball just right, almost. All the fans leaned in to see if it was going to make it over the fence. It did. It just bounced first. When this occurs, it counts as a ground rule double.

“It’s too bad,” Coach Wallen said. “Jacob Carpenter is the fastest guy in all of baseball. He would’ve made it no problem.”

It is too bad, for sure. When an awkward hit was unable to be corralled near home base at the bottom of the 6th, the Timberwolves were able to bring in another run.

Though the season may be over for the Mariners baseball team, their spirits were still high at the end of the game. One young play­er, when I had asked the coach for a moment of his time, told me excitedly he had time to talk to me. The Coach shooed him away. I asked if he was the team troublemaker, he said, with a smile “he’s the clown.”

If you haven’t yet read this week’s article about the Silver Bay Softball team, please note, I’m not an expert on softball or base­ball. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to talk to Softball Coach Mike Guzzo before I went on the adventure to Virginia to watch the baseball game. He taught me a lot in our conversations, and I was able to follow a bit better because he did so.

Being at the game was a whole other ex­perience. There is something unique to base­ball and softball, I think. The fans are con­stant cheerer oners, in the best way. In other sports, the fans rise to the occasion when the team does well, or maybe a crowd chant when the team isn’t doing so good. At the Mariners baseball game, I was surrounded by fans who cheered on every player and every play. “That one wasn’t for you,” I heard a fan say when a player missed a pitch in the zone. “Go 3-4!” another shouted when Jacob Car­penter was pitching. No one was waiting for a group chant to let the players know they were there for them. I had just as much fun, maybe, listening to the fans than watching the game.

Congratulations to the Mariners Baseball team, coaches, family, friends, and fans for a great season! We can’t wait to see you again next year!

(Feel Free to contact me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com with any news we should news about!)

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