---- — GRANVILLE — The Clinton County Senior Mariners gutted one out on Sunday.
The Mariners didn’t play their best game of the season, but found a way to win the American Legion District IV Tournament championship with a 7-4 victory over host Granville Post #323.
The top-seeded Mariners answered every challenge on the weekend and went 3-0 in the double-elimination event, while improving to 21-8 overall on the season. They will now compete in the eight-team New York State American Legion Tournament, beginning a week from Wednesday in Utica.
“Today was a huge win for our organization,” said Mariners coach Matt Tolosky. “But, at the same time, the kids have to realize we still have work to do.
“The coaches were very pleased with the team’s effort this weekend. We reached part of our objective by winning the Districts.”
The Mariners continued to hit the ball well with a 10-hit attack that included four hits by Adam Goldfarb.
“Adam set the table for us in the No. 2 spot today,” said Tolosky. “He scored two runs and swung the bat well all weekend.”
Clinton County, however, had to overcome some adversity. The Mariners made four errors and Granville ended up stranding 15 runners in the nine-inning contest.
“We turned four double plays that helped us get out of some tough binds,” said Tolosky. “That was excellent. We made some mistakes, but we also made some key defensive plays when needed.”
Clinton County was able to take advantage of Granville miscues.
The Mariners grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Goldfarb singled, stole second and scored on an error. They added two more unearned runs in the third and made it 4-0 in the fourth when Logan Recor drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.
Granville cut its deficit to 4-2 in the fifth, with Nick Burch driving in one of the runs with a single.
But the Mariners answered with two in the bottom of the inning to take a 6-2 advantage. Tanner Rascoe doubled, Mitchell Cunningham rapped a RBI triple and Jeremy Barber doubled in a run.
“After they scored two runs, we were able to come right back,” said Tolosky. “We hit the ball hard in the inning.”
Clinton County added another run in the sixth to make it 7-2 when Goldfarb singled and later scored on an error.
Granville, however, made it plenty interesting in the eighth while scoring twice and loading the bases with nobody out. But reliever Rascoe was able to work out of it with a force out at the plate, a strikeout and a fly ball to left field.
Marcus Lefebvre started on the mound for the Mariners, with Barber getting the win in relief and Rascoe the save.
“Our pitchers did a good job,” said Tolosky. “They had to work out of trouble and all three showed great character.”
In addition to Goldfarb’s four hits, Cunningham and Barber added two each, while Kasey Favreau and Rascoe each had one.
The Mariners rapped out 38 hits in three games over the weekend.
“It was a strong team effort, with players picking up one another,” said Tolosky.
“The coaches’ desire is having the team peak at the right time. This team has been eventually coming along in many ways. But, we still haven’t reached our full potential.
“We’re functioning more as a team. We found a way to win today even though we were not at our best. That, however, is a sign of a good team.”
Burch and Jeff Johnson led Granville with two hits apiece. Del Jackson started and took the pitching loss.
Mariners 7, Granville 4
Granville 000 020 020 — 4 9 5
Mariners 102 121 00x — 7 10 4
Jackson, Kelley (4) and Payne. Lefebvre, Barber (5), Rascoe (8) and Roenbeck. WP- Barber. LP- Jackson. Sv- Rascoe. 2B- Johnson (G), Rascoe (M), Barber (M). 3B- Cunningham (M).