In spite of fire-fighting aircraft working overhead and smoke from the Funny River Fire visible to the east, the Homer Mariners played the Kenai Kardinals in Kenai on Memorial Day, suffering a 6-1 loss. That brings the regular season to an end with four wins and six losses for the Mariners. Today they begin playing in the Northern Lights Conference tournament in Soldotna.
In the second inning, Homer grabbed an early lead. Sheldon Hutt stole second base and then came around to score on a line drive single to right field by Paul Trowbridge. Unfortunately, that was the only run the Mariners would score all game.
In the bottom of the second, Kenai turned four base hits into three runs. Homer couldn’t turn an Owen Delehanty single in the third inning into a run, nor a Brandon Beachy double in the fourth. Kenai picked up another run in the bottom of the thirdto open up a 4-1 lead. The final two runs of the game came in the bottom of the fourth, when Kenai combined two hit batsman and a pair of singles into two more runs.
In the fifth inning, JJ Sonnen led off with a crisp base hit, but the Mariners’ attempt at a hit and run turned into a double play when Delehanty hit a soft line drive. The Kenai short stop turned it into an easy double play with Sonnen already at second base and unable to scramble back to first in time.
In the bottom of the fifth, Hutt took over pitching duties and pitched very well, with two scoreless innings and facing only seven batters to record six outs.
In JV action, Homer came out on top 16-4 over Kenai, winning by the 10-run mercy rule after five innings. Greg Smith pitched the first two innings, giving up two runs. Paul Trowbridge handled the final three frames, also giving up just two runs and picking up the win. A number of players contributed offensively, with clutch hits coming from Mike Downing and Collin McCampbell.
The Mariners celebrated senior night at the May 21 game against Soldotna in Homer. The win came in the bottom of the seventh with the game tied at 5, two outs and the bases loaded. Soldotna’s pitcher hit senior batter Nahoa Jette to force in the winning run.
“There were kind of some strange plays,” said Head Coach Mark Putney.
“It was 4-2 most of the game. Then, they came back in the six inning to tie it up 4-4. Then in the seventh inning, we traded runs until we walked off 5-4. It was a good game. Good intensity.”
The state tournament will be held in Sitka June 5-7.