Story last updated at 3:56 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2002

Mariners start strong on diamond
by Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

photo: sports
  Photo by Sepp Jannotta, Homer News
Mariner Jim Pollack slides in safely afer stealing second against Colony last Saturday in Homer.  
Whether your baseball season is an 11-game sprint or a 162-game marathon, the math is the same <> if you win three of every four games you play, you'll likely still be playing when the regular season comes to an end.

That's precisely why Homer High coach Lary Kuhns smiles when he thinks about his team's first home stand of the season.

The Mariners, now 6-1, swept a pair of games with Houston on Thursday and Friday and then went on to split a Saturday doubleheader with Colony.

The Mariners made easy work of Houston, winning by tallies of 11-1 on Thursday and 17-7 on Friday.

On the mound in the first game, Ben Kuhns baffled the Houston hitters allowing eight hits and one run in six innings. Adam Crum hit a home run and scored a pair of runs, while Joe Todd was two for three with two RBIs and a run scored.

In Friday's game, Kuhns feasted on the Hawks' pitching, hitting a pair of home runs, a double and drawing a walk in five trips to the plate. David Drake added a couple of doubles, while the Mariners took full advantage of eight walks and 10 errors handed out by Houston.

Colony proved a tougher match-up.

In Saturday's opener, the Mariners overcame a 4-run deficit to pull out a 6-5 victory in extra innings, a triumph Lary Kuhns called "a sweet, sweet win."

David Drake drove in the game-winning RBI with a single in the eighth.

Kuhns credited Josh Fraley, who was spelling Adam Crum at first base, with the game's big defensive play. Fraley's diving stab in the sixth ended a Knight rally and stranded a pair of base runners, both of whom would have likely scored on a screamer that was labeled for the right field corner.

In the nightcap, Colony prevented the sweep with a 5-2 win, though the Mariners managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the seventh.

This weekend the Mariners, who lost out on a State Tournament bid last year when a tie-breaking coin toss went against them, hope to sew up a post-season berth as they close the season at home against Kodiak and Valdez.