Brandon Marlins’ Eric Zamrycut is tagged out at home by Neepawa Farmers catcher Ian Hockin during second-inning MSBL action Friday evening at Andrews Field. (COLIN CORNEAU/THE BRANDON SUN)
Friday’s Manitoba Senior Baseball League game wasn’t as pretty as the Neepawa Farmers would have liked, but they played well enough to escape Andrews Field with a 8-5 win over the Brandon Houstons Marlins.
The Farmers, who now hold a 2-0 stranglehold on their best-of-five semifinal series, committed four errors in the contest.
Neepawa third baseman Eddie Malone liked getting the win, even though he wishes the team didn’t have to rely so much on its bats.
"It’s like life man," Malone said. "Sometimes you have bad days and the next it’s good. You just have to take one part of the field, leave it and the other side you come in. It take a lot of resiliency and it shows the talent that we have."
Malone had a huge day for Neepawa at the plate, going 3-for-3 with one run and three RBIs. He drove in two runs with a single in the fourth inning, where the Farmers took control of the game.
Marlins starter Eric Zamrycut managed to get ahead of most batters in the inning, but struggled to get outs. Zamrycut faced 10 batters in the frame, gave up four runs and left the bases loaded as the Farmers grabbed a 5-3 lead.
They added another run when Malone hit an RBI single in the sixth. Neepawa scored two more runs in the ninth.
Malone, who knows the Farmers still have work to do to reach the MSBL final, credits listening to his father for his solid day.
"I just trusted my hands," he said. "That’s all my father preached about and just seeing the pitch. Making sure I get my pitch on a two-strike count. It was a little weight on my shoulders having to be on base and get a little insurance (in the ninth)."
The Marlins, who held a 3-1 lead heading into the fourth, looked poised to make a late comeback. They closed the gap to one in the sixth when Eric Zamrycut scored on an error and Paul Thompson came around on an RBI single by Nolan Jago. They had runners on second and third with one out in the seventh, but Greg Hockin came in on the mound and shut the door for the rest of the game.
Vince Lujan earned the win after giving up three runs on three hits in five innings. He also went 3-for-5 at the plate with one run and one RBI.
Zamrycut took the loss after surrendering five runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Mitch Stephens went 3-for-3 with one run and one RBI for the Marlins while Nolan Jago was 2-for-5 with one run scored and one run batted in.
Even though his team is facing elimination, Marlins manager Jeff Wiebe still hope they can stay alive by winning in Neepawa on Saturday. The game starts at 6 p.m.
"We gotta do what we gotta do," he said. "It starts with one win and that’s the way you have to look at it. It’s like any other best-of-five when you’re down 0-2. You gotta win one to start off to win the series. We’re just looking at Game 3 in Neepawa and putting together a good game hopefully."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 28, 2012