Mariner won the small-ball battle.
In the case of neither team able to mount much in the way of offense, the Tritons scratched out two fifth-inning runs Wednesday night to defeat Ida Baker 2-0.
A single, two bunters who reached base and a pair of sacrifice flies accounted for the Tritons' runs and halted their five-game losing streak.
Island Coast junior Quinn Bourque (8) used some of his football elusiveness to elude a tag at the plate and score a run in the Gators’ 3-2 win over Estero Wednesday. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
"We got a few bunts down, a couple of sac flies," Tritons coach Tom Woodley said. "We still aren't hitting when we need to. We're missing a lot of fastball counts, not squaring balls up, but the kids have battled and that's all we've asked them to do. Just battle and see what happens."
Enrique Morales opened the fifth with a single through the infield. Brandon Feehery bunted, but the throw to second base by Baker's Gabe Villaverde was off the mark. With runners on first and second, Mason Eicher loaded the bases with a bunt single. Sac flies by Joey Morales and Luis Ferrer plated the winning runs for the Tritons (11-6).
"The last eight or 10 games that's kind of been our MO," said Bulldogs coach Bob Van Deventer. "We're getting the pitching, we're getting the defense, we're bunting, we're getting the runners on. Now the final step is getting the runners in and we're stranding too many runs early. It's putting us in those situations where one mistake is costing us the game. We're not giving us any cushion early to afford those mistakes at the end."
Ferrer (3-2) got the win on the mound allowing one hit and striking out six over five innings. He had runners on the corners in the top of the first and got out of the inning unscathed.
"He's a leader," Woodley said of Ferrer. "He figured out. He had to fix some mechanical issues early on. He got out of some jams, did a quick fix on himself. That's great. That's what leaders are supposed to do."
Hunter Chappell pitched the last two scoreless innings, giving up no hits and striking out two to earn a save. He had two runners on in the seventh on an error and a hit batsman, but got Christian Proffitt for the game's final out.
Daniel Korchick took the loss for Baker, giving up both runs on four hits and a walk. The Tritons loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth against Bulldogs reliever Bryce Van Horn, but failed to score.
Mariner got revenge for a 3-2, nine-inning loss at Ida Baker (3-12) on March 12.
"It always feels nice, you know," Woodley said. "It was a well-played ball game. I wish there could have been some more hits, but it was a well-played game on both sides."
"That's what happens when you're playing the high-wire act and you're not scoring early," Van Deventer said. "We score there early and it's a different game."
Baker had no time to stew over the loss with a game at Cape Coral Thursday.
"It's a full week," Van Deventer said. "Mariner, Cape, they're not district games, but they're local teams. The kids all know each other. It's a quick turnaround (for tonight) so I told them we don't have time to mope."
The Tritons host Estero on Friday.
Baker 000 000 0 0 1 2?Mariner 000 020 x 2 5 1?WP - Ferrer. LP - Korchick. S - Chappell.
Island Coast 3, Estero 2: Miguel Vidal squeezed home the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday night to lift Island Coast to victory.
Brett Billman led off the sixth with a single and was bunted to second. Sean Gavitt's infield single sent Billman to third to set up Vidal's suicide squeeze play for the game-winner.
Estero got runners on first and third with two out in the top of the seventh, but grounded out to end the game.
Nikko Rodriguez had two hits, including a double, and Sam Malone delivered an RBI double in the fourth inning. Zach Lackman contributed an RBI single.
Malone (2-1) pitched a complete game three-hitter giving up two unearned runs.
The Gators (10-4) host Fernandina Beach at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Wednesday's match results:
(Boys) Charlotte 6, North Fort Myers 1
Singles - Guzman (C) def. Ngoc Pham 6-1, 6-0; Greenbery (C) def. Nick Hulfeld 6-0, 6-0; Westin (C) def. Gin Zaliauskas 6-0, 6-0; Palmer (C) def. Tempe Zaliauskas 6-0, 6-0;Marlow (C) def. Logan Labanna 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles - Pham-Hulfeld (NFM) def. Cavic-Jen 8-1; Vanderloop-Walker (C) def. Zaliauskas-Tempe Zaliauskas 8-0.
Sports editor Jim Linette contributed to this report.