Mariners’ Bats Finally Come Alive
If you think the Red Sox bats are running hot and cold, pity the poor Harwich Mariners.
“It has really been feast or famine,” said Harwich manager Steve Englert after his Mariners drubbed Brewster 10-1 Monday.
Those words could not have been truer as the Mariners rebounded from being shut out in four of their five previous games. Although the offense was on display Monday afternoon, the pitching might have been an even bigger positive, as all three Harwich pitchers were stellar.
Starter Zach Kroenke bounced back from two tough starts to pitch six innings of three-hit ball and striking out four. The 6-foot, 2-inch lefthander from Nebraska finally found his comfort zone and baffled the Brewster hitters for the first six innings.
“We really needed that outing … that is the way we knew he would pitch,” said Englert.
Kroenke gave way to Kevin Mulvey who surrendered one hit in two innings of work. Craig Hansen closed it out pitching a perfect ninth and striking out two.
“Our staff is so much better than we have pitched,” said Englert. “They are all settled in and everybody knows their role now. We should be all right.”
For Kroenke, being comfortable was the key.
“The last two starts I was good through three innings and then I blew up. I have figured out the hitters’ approach to the plate and brought my curveball back.
The bats, however, were the big news and made Kroenke’s outing easier.
“When you score 10 runs you just go out and throw strikes and see if they can hit you out,” he said.
The Mariners exploded for 12 hits and were led by John Sloan who went 3-4 with three RBIs. He drove in the first run of the game with a single in the third and had another RBI in the 4-run seventh.
The Mariners jumped on Brewster starter Adam Gold in the third with RBIs by Sloan and Drew Davidson. In the fourth, Brent Lillibridge crushed his team high third home run over the left field fence to put Harwich up 3-0. They added two more in the fifth on RBIs by Sloan and Ben Copeland. Sloan and Copeland added an RBI each in the seventh and Mike Pankratz smashed a double to the gap to score two more. Lillibridge added a sacrifice fly in the eighth to close out the scoring.
The win upped the Mariners to 5-6 and dropped the Whitecaps to 6-5.
By Patrick O’Neill