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Mariners drop home opener to Twins

PULASKI – Friday night’s crowd of over 2,000 fans that attended the first professional baseball game at Historic Calfee Park in nearly two years thought they were going to be treated to a bottom of the ninth inning rally by the Mariners. Instead, they received the enforcement of an obscure rule to end the game and hand the Pulaski Mariners a 4-1 loss to the Elizabethton Twins.
Down three runs to the Twins going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Mariners came alive with a one out double by Mario Martinez. Martinez moved to third on a fielder’s choice and, with two outs, Jose Rivero was called on to pinch-hit. Rivero, who has had a hand in some late-inning heroics already this season, was summarily called out on strikes to end the game. The third and final strike to Rivero, however, did not come from the pitcher. Instead, it came from home plate umpire Brandon Henson.
Henson invoked rule No. 602, which prohibits a batter from leaving the batter’s box with both feet after a called strike. Rivero stepped out of the box after his second strike and was immediately called out by Henson to end the game.
“To end the game on that call is terrible,” Pulaski manager Rob Mummau said. “The umpire said that he warned Rivero not to step out of the box. But (Rivero) is a Spanish-speaking player that doesn’t understand that much English. You cannot end the game like that.”
“With that being said, we did not lose the game on that call,” Mummau concluded.
The Mariners did have opportunities earlier in the game to score runs. A potential rally in the bottom of the sixth inning was killed when Mario Martinez was thrown out on a steal attempt of third base for the final out of the inning.
“Martinez was a little over-aggressive,” Mummau explained.
The Mariner bats may have been a little over-aggressive as well, as three Twins pitchers combined to strike out 11 Mariners on the night.
Not to be outdone, Pulaski received a solid pitching from their starter Brooks Mohr. Mohr (0-1) went five innings, striking out four Twins. His only mistake of the game came with two outs in the fifth inning when he allowed a two-run homerun to Andrew Schmiesing that sailed over the 356’ mark in right-centerfield.
Phillip Roy came in for Pulaski in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings. Nick Czyz, the winning pitcher from game one for the Mariners, came on in the eighth and pitched the final two innings, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out four Twins.
Martinez led the Mariner offense, going 3-for-4 on the night with a double and Pulaski’s lone RBI. Right fielder Dwight Britton went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored. Kris Sanchez also contributed two hits for Pulaski, while catcher Kylee Hash added one.
“We came out and played hard,” Mummau said of his team’s performance. “We’ve got to tip our cap to the other team.”
“We will come back (Saturday) fighting.”
The Mariners (3-1) will finish their opening home stand versus Elizabethton (4-0) on Sunday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Elizabethton is the only remaining unbeaten team in the Appalachian League.

Mariners drop home opener to Twins

PULASKI – Friday night’s crowd of over 2,000 fans that attended the first professional baseball game at Historic Calfee Park in nearly two years thought they were going to be treated to a bottom of the ninth inning rally by the Mariners. Instead, they received the enforcement of an obscure rule to end the game and hand the Pulaski Mariners a 4-1 loss to the Elizabethton Twins.
Down three runs to the Twins going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Mariners came alive with a one out double by Mario Martinez. Martinez moved to third on a fielder’s choice and, with two outs, Jose Rivero was called on to pinch-hit. Rivero, who has had a hand in some late-inning heroics already this season, was summarily called out on strikes to end the game. The third and final strike to Rivero, however, did not come from the pitcher. Instead, it came from home plate umpire Brandon Henson.
Henson invoked rule No. 602, which prohibits a batter from leaving the batter’s box with both feet after a called strike. Rivero stepped out of the box after his second strike and was immediately called out by Henson to end the game.
“To end the game on that call is terrible,” Pulaski manager Rob Mummau said. “The umpire said that he warned Rivero not to step out of the box. But (Rivero) is a Spanish-speaking player that doesn’t understand that much English. You cannot end the game like that.”
“With that being said, we did not lose the game on that call,” Mummau concluded.
The Mariners did have opportunities earlier in the game to score runs. A potential rally in the bottom of the sixth inning was killed when Mario Martinez was thrown out on a steal attempt of third base for the final out of the inning.
“Martinez was a little over-aggressive,” Mummau explained.
The Mariner bats may have been a little over-aggressive as well, as three Twins pitchers combined to strike out 11 Mariners on the night.
Not to be outdone, Pulaski received a solid pitching from their starter Brooks Mohr. Mohr (0-1) went five innings, striking out four Twins. His only mistake of the game came with two outs in the fifth inning when he allowed a two-run homerun to Andrew Schmiesing that sailed over the 356’ mark in right-centerfield.
Phillip Roy came in for Pulaski in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings. Nick Czyz, the winning pitcher from game one for the Mariners, came on in the eighth and pitched the final two innings, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out four Twins.
Martinez led the Mariner offense, going 3-for-4 on the night with a double and Pulaski’s lone RBI. Right fielder Dwight Britton went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored. Kris Sanchez also contributed two hits for Pulaski, while catcher Kylee Hash added one.
“We came out and played hard,” Mummau said of his team’s performance. “We’ve got to tip our cap to the other team.”
“We will come back (Saturday) fighting.”
The Mariners (3-1) will finish their opening home stand versus Elizabethton (4-0) on Sunday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Elizabethton is the only remaining unbeaten team in the Appalachian League.