Zach Mayo had his good stuff working on Tuesday night at Andrews Field, as he one-hit the Brandon Houstons Marlins over seven innings to pace the Brandon Cloverleafs to an 8-1 win in the Manitoba Senior Baseball League.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound southpaw was dominant from the first pitch, with his only rough patch coming in the top of the fifth inning when he temporarily lost the strike zone.
“I felt pretty good,” said Mayo, who threw 113 pitches, giving up one earned run on one hit, while walking six and striking out eight. “The control was a little bit shaky in the middle part of the game, but I was able to battle through my control problems and get guys out when I needed to.”
In other action last night, the league-leading Neepawa Farmers defeated the host Oak River Dodgers 4-1.
Meanwhile, at Andrews Field, it was Mayo’s night. The 17-year-old from Mather, who just finished Grade 12 at Vauxhall Academy of Baseball in Vauxhall, Alta., is in just his second season with the Cloverleafs (7-5) and is still growing into a larger role.
“It’s definitely a big confidence boost (to pitch this well),” Mayo said. “The last time out was similar to this, so running a couple of games like this in a row gives you a lot of confidence … It’s a lot of fun.”
It was never more than a one-run game until the seventh inning when the Marlins (2-9) couldn’t avoid the big inning.
In the home half of the inning, the Cloverleafs sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring six runs. The inning was highlighted by Dan Perron’s second triple of the game that scored two runs — Perron would come around to score on the same play after a Marlins throwing error.
Up until that point, Marlins’ starter Cody Nevins had kept the Cloverleafs’ offence at bay, but after walking the first two batters of the inning he was replaced by Eric Zamrycut.
“It’s the old adage that you can’t walk the first guy, and then after that, you can’t walk the second guy or you’re just asking for trouble,” Marlins’ manager Jeff Wiebe said.
The inning spoiled what was otherwise a good outing for Nevins, who left throwing 101 pitches in six innings, giving up four earned runs, while walking four and striking out four.
The Cloverleafs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Bryan Swaenepoel RBI-single that cashed Max Poulin from second.
The Marlins tied the game in the fifth when Mayo lost the strike zone, walking two before plunking Bret Heselwood to load the bases. Ryan Boguski hit a sacrifice fly, but that was all the Marlins could muster.
From there, it was all Cloverleafs as they scored seven unanswered runs, led by Perron, who went 2-for-4 with a walk, three RBIs and a run scored, while Derek Chapman went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Patrick Vandoorne led the Marlins’ attack, picking up the lone hit — a leadoff bunt — against Mayo, while Nate Andrews went 1-for-3 with a walk on the night.
Farmers 4 Dodgers 1
In Oak River, Cam Tibbett drove in three runs with a two-run homer in the sixth inning and a single in the fifth to help first-place Neepawa improve to 11-4 last night.
Winning pitcher Isaac Rodriguez pitched a compete nine innings, giving up 10 hits and a walk with five strikeouts and helped his own cause at the plate by doubling and scoring a run.
Dana McNish took the loss, giving up four runs on three hits and five walks with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work. Ryan Shaw tossed 3 1/3 tidy innings in relief, striking out two and giving up no runs, no hits and no walks.
John Lawrence went 3-for-4 for Oak River (3-10), while Colin Bates went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI single in the fourth.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 4, 2012