Giants U21 fumble their chance to eliminate Mariners from the playoffs

The Giants U21 drop the ball repeatedly in a 12-4 loss to the Mariners. Clubmates, Ashbourne Stags, needing the Giants U21 to win to qualify for the playoffs are disappointed.

The Mariners jumped on young pitcher David Linn in the second inning for a quick 3-0 lead. Mariners middle infielders Matt Dutton and Jim O’Shea start the inning strong with back to back singles. Linn fought back and struck out right fielder James Kelly looking before he lost the strike zone. Catcher Sam Marcus took advantage of Linn’s wildness to draw a walk to load the bases and then Paddy Fleming drew a walk to score Dutton. O’Shea then scored on a wild pitch and Marcus came home as starting third baseman Lisa O’Regan hit into a 4-3 ground out. Veteran pitcher Caspar Coffie came in to shut things down with a crafty pick off catching Fleming napping at third.

The Mariners added to their lead in the third as the Giants defense became unhinged. Lead off hitter Matt McCann reached base on an error and proceeded to steal second. Starting pitcher Gareth Donnelly reached on a single to set up runners at the corners to set the table for first baseman Matt Green. Green singled to drive home McCann. Next batter, Dutton, hits into a fielders choice for the first out. Veteran second baseman Jim O’Shea then drew a walk to load the bases. The Giants nerves then get the best of them and the next two Mariners’ batters reach on errors. Donnelly and Dutton score. The Giants wake up from their funk and gun down a runner at home as Fleming hits into a fielder’s choice and O’Regan strikes out to end the inning. Mariners 7, Giants 0.

The Giants respond in their half of the third. Linn hits a solid single but is caught by the Mariners as he tries to take an extra base on the hit. Fionn Gallahar-Hall then hit a solid single and stole second. Gallahar-Hall advances to third on a wild pitch before Patrick Mitchell singles to drive him home.

The Mariners extend their lead in the 6th. Relief pitcher Alex Caparu leads off with a hard hit double to left field. The Giants get the next two batters to fly out before the defensive miscues re-emerge. First baseman Green reaches on an error that allows Caparu to score. Green then comes home to score when Dutton singles. 8-1 Mariners.

The Giants score a run in the bottom of the 7th as Linn hits a triple to right field and scores on a sacrifice fly by Gallahar-Hall. The Mariners came right back in the top of the 8th as Matt McCann comes home for their 9th run.

Veteran first baseman Sean Mitchell reaches base and advances to second on some shaky Mariners defence. Mitchell then reaches third on a wild pitch before coming home on a single by Feidhlim Deering.

The Mariners add to their lead in the top of the 9th. Kelly and Fleming score on a single by Caparu. Caparu then comes home on a McCann double.

The Giants score a single run in the 9th but its too little too late. Final score – Mariners 12 Giants 4.

Shorstop Matt Dutton lead the Mariners offense going 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI. Matt McCann went 2 for 6 with a double, 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. Alex Caparu went 2 for 3 with a double, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Caparu also pitched 6 innings giving up 1 earned run in relief of starter Gareth Donnelly.

David Linn went 2 for 4 with a triple and a walk for the Giants. Fionn Gallahar-Hall went 2 for 3 with 3 stolen bases.