PERU — Brandon Buksa had a big day for the Clinton County Junior Mariners, who took two from the Montreal Junior Titans on Sunday.
Buksa picked up the win in relief in the first game and added a double and single at the plate. In the second contest, Buksa rapped three more hits, including two doubles and a single to go along with four RBI, as the Mariners recorded a 4-0 and 9-3 doubleheader sweep.
“We have a very athletic team,” said Mariners coach Gary Duquette. “We had players who played positions today they don’t normally play and were up to the task.”
Gerrit Rietsema, Buksa and Mickey Pepper combined on a three-hit shutout in the opener. Buksa struck out seven in his three innings of work.
Clinton County scored all its runs in the fifth inning, with Andy Kneussle’s two-out, two-run double being the big blow.
Dan Hartman added two singles for the Mariners, who finished with seven hits in all.
“In the first game, we probably should have scored more runs,” Duquette said. “But we were aggressive on the bases and that’s the way we’re going to play.”
In the second contest, Kneussle struck out seven in picking up the pitching win in relief.
Buksa and Shawn Courson paced the Mariners with three hits each, while Zach Bingel added a double and single, Caleb Keysor a triple and Quenton Barber a double.
Clinton County held a 5-3 lead after two innings and got some breathing room with three more in the fourth for an 8-3 advantage.
The Mariners, who rapped 11 hits in the second game, improved their season record to 3-0.
“I don’t know how good the competition is that we’ve been playing,” Duquette said. “But we’re off to a good start to the season and we’ll know more about our team when we play in the Middletown Tournament this coming weekend.”
Mariners 4, Titans 0
Titans 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
Mariners 000 040 x — 4 7 3
Gronel, Vaniely (5) and Dupois. Rietsema, Buksa (4), Pepper (7) and Hartman. WP- Buksa. LP- Gronel. 2B- Banila (T), Kneussle (M), Buksa (M).
Mariners 9, Titans 3
Mariners 320 300 1 — 9 11 2
Titans 120 000 0 — 3 5 2
Barber, Kneussle (3), Bingel (7) and Hartman, Marion (5). Nyasson, Virelli (5) and Dupois. WP- Kneussle. LP- Nyasson. 2B- Buksa (M) 2, Bingel (M), Barber (M). 3B- Keysor (M).