PLATTSBURGH — Needing a run to pull out a victory, the Clinton County Junior Mariners got their best base runner aboard to begin the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday.
And it worked out well.
Jack Tolosky scored the game-winning run in the Mariners’ 5-4 win over the Vermont Jays in an American Legion Baseball game at South Acres Field.
With the score tied at 4-all, Tolosky led off the inning with a single and took second on Andrew Kneussle’s sacrifice bunt in front of the plate. When Tolosky saw third base was unoccupied, he kept running. And in the Jays’ haste, he scored when the ill-advised throw to third went wild.
“Tolosky’s our best base runner,” said Mariners coach Gary Duquette. “He has outstanding baseball instincts and he’s been a menace all year long on the bases.”
The win was a much-needed one for the Mariners (13-15) as far as the Next Level Baseball League playoffs are concerned.
“It was a big game for us,” said Duquette. “I’m not totally sure if this win gets us in the league playoffs three weekends from now. But I do know the chances of us getting in were not very good if we lost.”
The Mariners got the early jump with three runs in the first inning and one more in the fourth for a 4-0 lead.
But the Jays rallied for four in the fourth to tie it, and it stayed that way until the seventh.
“We played well except for one inning,” said Duquette. “We had one bad inning where we lost focus a little bit.”
Ryan Meyer pitched the first six innings for Clinton County and Jeremy Barber the seventh to pick up the win. The two combined to allow six hits.
“Ryan Meyer has been consistently good for us all season,” said Duquette. “And Jeremy Barber has settled into the closer’s role — he does a great job.”
Mitchell Cunningham and Quenton Barber led the Mariners offensively with two hits each. Justin Stevens and Brandon Buksa each doubled as Clinton County finished with eight hits in all.
The Mariners are scheduled to be off this weekend before competing in the Vermont Outlaws Tournament next weekend. The Next Level Baseball League playoffs take place the following weekend.
Mariners 5, Jays 4
Jays 000 400 0 — 4 6 3
Mariners 310 000 1 — 5 8 2
Connor, Laroe (7) and LaRose. Meyer, J. Barber (7) and Altizer. WP- J. Barber. LP- Laroe. 2B- Connor (J), Stevens (M), Buksa (M).