Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tucker strikes out 18, Mariners take Game 1 from Hamilton

Tucker strikes out 18, Mariners take Game 1 from Hamilton

The Manchester Essex Mariners are now one win away from a sixth straight appearance in the Intertown Twilight Baseball League finals.

Behind an 18 strikeout, one-hit complete game shutout from Rusty Tucker, the top seeded Mariners picked up a 4-0 win over the fourth seeded Hamilton Generals in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinal series.

With the win, the five time defending ITL champion Mariners can clinch a spot in the finals on Monday in Game 2 at Patton Park (5:30 p.m.).

The Mariners got all the runs they needed in the bottom of the first inning. Caulin Rogers led off the frame with a walk and Mike Cain followed with a two-run homer to make it 2-0. Rory Gentile followed with a double off the fence, he then stole third and was driven in on a Tucker ground ball.
"We basically took care of it right way with the way Rusty was throwing," Mariners manager Ryan Marques said. "We started with a walk and two hard hit balls and then Rusty shut them down. We did what we needed to do."

Three runs was plenty for Tucker, who fanned 18 of 22 batters faced and allowed no runners to reach scoring position as the only Generals base runner hit a single.

The Mariners, who have also won eight of the last nine league titles, added a fourth run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Adam Philpott singled in Gentile, who singled for his second hit of the day. Cain also had a pair of hits for Manchester Essex.

With one win separating the Mariners from a sixth straight finals appearance, Peter Clark or Marc Phinney will take the hill in a potential series clinching game.

"We will probably see (Hamilton's) ace tomorrow so it should be a good one," Marques said.