CASTLETON, Vt. — For the first three innings Saturday, the Clinton County Senior Mariners hit the ball hard — but right at people.
That, however, changed in the fourth.
The Mariners busted loose big time for nine runs to erase a 2-0 deficit and rolled to a 14-4, seven-inning run rule victory over host Granville Post in the American Legion District IV Baseball Tournament.
The Mariners (20-8), reaching the 20-win mark for the season, improved their record 2-0 in the double-elimination event and into the finals where their opponent will need to beat them twice.
Malone Post and Granville play an elimination game today at 10 a.m., with the survivor advancing to the finals. If the Mariners win the following game, which starts at 1 p.m., Clinton County is the champion.
But American Legion rules state that no team can play three games in one day. So, if the Mariners lose, a deciding game would have to be played on Wednesday.
“We had to overcome some early adversity again (Saturday),”Mariners coach Matt Tolosky said . “But we were able to respond like a good team does.”
The Mariners rapped out five hits in the first two innings but weren’t able to cross the plate. Granville scored single runs off Mariners’ starter Kasey Favreau in the first and third innings for a 2-0 lead.
“We were hitting line drives all over the place,”Tolosky said . “I felt confident that we would eventually break through.”
That happened in the fourth when Clinton County erupted for seven hits. Ryan Meyer started it with an RBI single, followed by Marcus Lefebvre with a two-run triple, Jack Tolosky an RBI single, Jake Richards an RBI single, Favreau an RBI single, Tanner Rascoe a two-run double and Mitchell Cunningham an RBI double.
The Mariners then added three more in the fifth for a 12-2 advantage. Tolosky singled, Adam Goldfarb rapped a RBI double and Chris Roenbeck launched a two-run homer.