ESSEX, Vt. — The Clinton County Junior Mariners scored three runs in back-to-back innings before pulling away for a 9-5 defeat of the Vermont Jays in American Legion baseball Tuesday.
Managing a 6-1 lead after two frames, though, Mariners (9-2) coach Gary Duquette said the team got complacent for the first time this season, which allowed the Jays to claw their way back into the game.
“We lacked a little bit of concentration in one inning,” Duquette said. “It let the other team get back in it. Hopefully, we can correct that. Up until that point, we had been playing really good baseball.
“In the third inning, we didn’t maintain the discipline that we’ve had through our first 10 games. It cost us a couple runs. Our defense got a little bored, and we just didn’t play good baseball for about an inning. But the kids recognized that and responded with three (runs) in the fourth.”
Bailey Cross was the winning pitcher, while Zach Bingel came in to shut the door in the fifth.
“Cross and Bingel issued eight walks between them,” Duquette said. “Our pitchers have to throw strikes. We have good defense, but if we can just do a better job commanding the strike zone, we wouldn’t have to worry so much. But to their credit, they did keep hitters off-balance.”
Bingel, Andrew Bechard, Tristan Archambault, Ryan Whalen, Brantley Marion and Gerrit Rietsema accounted for Clinton County’s seven hits. Bingel and Marion each slugged doubles.
Marion, however, was injured sliding into second base and was forced to leave the contest.
“Brantley Marion’s our best pitcher and has been hitting the ball well as of late,” Duquette said. “He might have a sprained ankle or a broken ankle. If that’s the case, it’s a big hit for us.”
The Junior Mariners will resume action when they host the Vermont Outlaws at Chip Cummings Field at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Clinton County 9, Vermont 5 (6)
Clinton County 330 300 — 9 7 2
Vermont 013 010 — 5 4 4
Cross, Bingel (5) and Hartman. Caforia, Peubis (4) and Agan. WP- Cross. LP- Caforia. 2B- Marion (CC), Bingel (CC).