UTICA — The smallest team at the New York State American Legion Senior Baseball Tournament made some big noise Wednesday.
The 12-player Clinton County Mariners, led by Jack Tolosky, pounded out 19 hits in an 11-8 victory over Ferris Goodridge Post in opening-round play at Donovan Stadium’s Murnane Field.
The Mariners play the winner of the Melvin Roads/New Hartford game, which was played late Wednesday night, at 8 p.m. tonight in a winner’s bracket contest. Melvin Roads is the team that knocked Clinton County rival Saratoga out in the districts.
“We had to overcome some early jitters and a couple of mistakes,” Mariners coach Matt Tolosky said. “We made only three errors, but they were costly ones.
“But we showed great resiliency. Every time they made a run at us, we responded. I was proud of our team. To be able to bounce back the way we did is a sign of a good team.”
Jack Tolosky rapped out five singles in six trips to the plate and made a key defensive play in the ninth inning at second base to help preserve the victory.
Robby Knowles added a double and two singles, Chris Roenbeck two doubles, Tanner Rascoe a triple and single, Ryan Meyer a double and single, and Logan Recor two singles for the Mariners (25-8). Adam Goldfarb, Mitch Cunningham and Conor Casey had a single each as every Clinton County starter got into the hit parade.
“This obviously had to be one of our best hitting games of the season,” Tolosky said. “And we needed it to be because of the runs that were scored.
“We were able to get offensive contributions up and down the line-up and it was a solid team effort. We also made some good defensive plays as well at key times.”
Mike Myers’ opposite-field home run pulled Ferris Goodridge into a 7-all tie in the bottom of the seventh.
The Mariners, however, bounced back by scoring four runs in the top of the eighth for an 11-7 advantage. The first runner came across on a wild pitch before Knowles rapped a two-run single and Roenbeck a long RBI double.
“We had the answer after they hit the home run,” Tolosky said. “But that wasn’t the first time in the game we had an answer for them.”
Brandon Rabideau, who picked up the win in relief, ran into some trouble in the ninth when Ferris Goodridge scored a run and had runners on first and third, with one out. The first out of the inning came when Jack Tolosky went into the hole between first and second to grab a hard-hit ball and was able to get the force at second.
Knowles then picked up the save. He walked the first batter to load the bases, but got a strikeout and fly ball to center to end the threat and the game.
Casey gave the Mariners a strong start. He allowed two unearned runs in the first inning, two earned runs in the third and one in the fourth.
But he got better as the game went on and had three of his four strikeouts in the fifth and six innings before leaving with a high pitch count and a 7-5 lead.
“Casey gave us a solid effort,” Tolosky said. “He put us in position to win the game. He showed a lot of character by battling out there and finishing strong in the fifth and six innings.”
The Mariners trailed, 4-2, before breaking loose for four runs in the fourth for a 6-4 advantage. Rascoe drilled a triple, Cunningham a RBI single, Casey a RBi single, Tolosky a single, Goldfarb a single and Knowles a fielder’s choice for a RBI.
Earlier, Knowles had a RBI double in the first to score Tolosky. Then, in the third, Tolosky singled and later came across to score on a wild pitch.
Ferris Goodridge made it 6-5 before Roenbeck doubled and came across on Meyer’s RBI single to make it 7-5 in the fifth.
“In a tournament like this, winning the first game to get into the winner’s bracket increases your opportunity for success,” Tolosky said. “It puts us in a much better spot.”
Mariners 11, Ferris Goodridge 8
Mariners 101 410 040 — 11 19 3
Ferris Goodridge 202 100 201 — 8 8 4
Casey, Rabideau (7), Knowles (9) and Roenbeck. Macera, Case (5), Rachow (8), Honan (8) and Perry. WP- Rabideau. LP- Case. Sv- Knowles. 2B- Knowles (M), Roenbeck (M) 2,Knapp (FG), Bell (FG). 3B- Maier (FG), Rascoe (M). HR- Myers (FG).