KEENE, N.H. — The day didn’t start out well for the Clinton County Senior Mariners Saturday.
But, in the end, it turned out to be one of the best days of the season for the local American Legion baseball team while playing in the 38th-Annual Karl “Gubby” Underwood Tournament at the Keene (N.H.) High School Alumni Fields.
Clinton County dropped an 8-2 decision to Haverhill (Mass.) Post #4 in its first game of the day, which started at 8 a.m., but then rebounded for a 4-2 victory over Southern New Hampshire and then a 4-2 win over previously-unbeaten Danielson (Conn.) Post #21 in its third game of the day.
The Mariners (10-5), who won their bracket and are 2-1 in the event, will be playing in today’s 1 p.m. championship game against an opponent yet to be determined in the eight-team tournament.
“After we rebounded from our first game,” we played some of the best baseball we have played all season,” Mariners coach Matt Tolosky said. “We hadn’t played a game for a long time because of the weather and we got better as the day went on. We began to mesh as a team. Maybe playing three games in a day was good for us.”
HAVERHILL POST #4 8MARINERS 2
The Mariners held an early 2-0 lead, but Haverhill rapped out four hits, including back-to-back triples and a double, to score four runs in the fourth to take the lead for good at 4-2.
Haverhill then added a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh to break it open.
Ryan Meyer and Jake Richards had doubles, while Jack Tolosky and Robby Knowles added singles for Clinton County. Knowles rapped an RBI single in the second and Tanner Rascoe a sacrifice fly in the third.
Brandon Rabideau started and took the pitching loss, with Jeremy Barber taking over in the sixth. Haverhill outhit the Mariners, 11-4.
“It was our first game in quite a while and it showed,” Tolosky said. “We weren’t able to do all the little things it takes to be successful.”
SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE 2 (8)
Conor Casey gave the Mariners a strong start as he settled in after a slow start. Casey struck out seven and allowed five hits in 6.1 innings of work. An error helped lead to Southern New Hampshire scoring its two runs in the first inning.
Rascoe pitched scoreless baseball over the final 1.2 innings to get the victory. He struck out two and didn’t allow a hit.
“Conor pitched great and Tanner came in and did his job,” Tolosky said.
The Mariners got one of the runs back in the second inning when Barber squeezed home Kasey Favreau. Clinton County then tied it in the fifth when Marcus Lefebvre’s fielder’s choice drove in Knowles.
Clinton County broke the 2-all tie with two runs in the eighth inning. Mitchell Cunningham led the inning off with a pinch-hit single, Rascoe walked, Ryan Meyer reached on a fielder’s choice, Logan Recor was safe on an error, Roenbeck walked with the bases loaded to force in a run and Favreau hit a sacrifice fly.
Recor and Knowles rapped out two hits apiece for the Mariners, while Richards, Adam Goldfarb and Cunningham added one each.
“We started having some better at bats,” Tolosky said. “This was a big win for us to get us going back on the right track.”
DANIELSON POST #21 2
It was Knowles’ turn on the mound and after allowing a run on three hits in the first inning, he surrendered just one hit the rest of the way. He struck out just two, but kept Danielson off balance and let his defense do the work.
The Mariners made just one error behind him and committed only three errors in three games.
“Robby was outstanding and we played excellent defense all day,” Tolosky said.
The Mariners did most of their offensive damage early, scoring one run in the first inning and two more in the second on a combined five hits.
Jack Tolosky led off the bottom of the first with a double and scored on Goldfarb’s single.
In the second, the Mariners got two more on a leadoff double by Richards, Meyer’s RBI single and Barber’s run-scoring hit.
Danielson Post cut its deficit to 3-2 in the top of the sixth, but Clinton County was able to get the run back in the home half on Meyer’s clutch two-out RBI single.
Goldfarb and Meyer paced the Mariners with two hits each, with Tolosky, Roenbeck, Richards and Barber adding one apiece.
“Our hitting is starting to come around some,” Tolosky said. “It’s still not where I think it can be, but there are positive signs. We were able get some key two-strike hits today. And we had a lot of players contribute in what was a good team day for us.”
Haverhill Post #4 8, Mariners 2
Haverhill Post #4 000 401 3 — 8 11 1
Mariners 011 000 0 — 2 4 1
Keefe, Penny (5) and Hanides. Rabideau, Barber (6) and Roenbeck. WP- Keefe. LP- Rabideau. Sv- Penny. 2B- Landry (H), Meyer (M), Richards (M). 3B- Ruth (H), Levious (H).
Mariners 4, So. New Hampshire 2 (8)
Mariners 010 010 02 — 4 7 1
So. New Hampshire 200 000 00 — 2 5 2
Casey, Rascoe (7) and Roenbeck. Wood, Jackson (8), Pigott (8). WP- Rascoe. LP- Jackson.
Mariners 4, Danielson Post #21 2
Post #21 100 001 0 — 2 4 3
Mariners 120 001 x — 4 8 1
Belanger, Debrey (4) and Jenehto. Knowles and Rabideau. WP- Knowles. LP- Belanger. 2B- Tolosky (M), Goldfarb (M), Richards (M).