Mariner took advantage of its opportunities.
The Tritons benefited from Lemon Bay mistakes Wednesday to move on in the Region 5A-3 baseball playoffs by defeating the Manta Rays 5-2 in the regional quarterfinals.
The Tritons (16-11) host Cape Coral in the Region 5A-3 semifinals Tuesday. Cape advanced to another meeting with their crosstown rivals by blanking Hardee County 5-0 Wednesday.
Mariner shortstop Joey Morales (7) completes a double play relay toss to first during the Tritons’ 5-2 Region 5A-3 quarterfinal victory over Lemon Bay. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
Lemon Bay committed five errors, four of them leading directly to four of Mariner's five runs.
"We were fortunate to be on the other side of those mistakes," Tritons coach Tom Woodley said. "That's all we ask them to do. Get your butt down the line and see what happens."
Mariner scored three times in the first inning. Joey Morales and Mason Eicher singled to start the rally. Consecutive errors brought home Morales and Eicher. Later in the inning, Luis Ferrer's sacrifice-fly scored Logan Hanick, who had reached on one of the errors.
In the fifth two errors on Enrique Morales' grounder allowed Hanick and Michael Laborde to score.
Lemon Bay coach Casey Hanrahan said, "We got off to a rough start, but that didn't mean we didn't have any opportunities to recover from that."
The same Rays infield that committed four of the five errors also turned two double plays, and pitcher Jaryd Clary caught a screaming liner that knocked him off his feet. But it was the errors that made the difference Wednesday.
"That's kind of how it's been for us this season," Hanrahan said. "Whenever we make a mistake it winds up biting us in the behind. We really did make some outstanding defensive plays."
Ferrer, who missed time with injuries down the stretch of the regular season, pitched five innings to get the win for the Tritons. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks, striking out five.
"He's our workhorse," Woodley said. "He's our number one. He's still coming back. He was out for about three weeks. He's a gamer and he'll do what he has to do to win. He didn't have his best stuff, but when he had to make pitches in certain situations he did a good job. That's the sign of a senior and a leader."
Tim Watters, the third Tritons pitcher, got the save.
Lemon Bay scored a run on Brandon Cutting's RBI single in the third inning. In the sixth, Ben Breedveld singled home Nick Beltz, who had doubled.
"Hats off to them," Woodley said. "They outhit us 8-6. I thought their pitcher did a great job. He kept us off-balance all night. We were fortunate to be on the other side of the mistakes."
Clary went the distance for Lemon Bay, giving up just one earned run on six hits and three walks over six innings.
"Jaryd is the most competitive guy we have," Hanrahan said. "That's why he was out there. We knew that if we got down he was going to come back and fight to the end."
Mariner left nine runners on base.
"Down the road every run is going to count, so we've got to do a better job and get them in," Woodley said.
Lemon Bay 001 001 0 - 2 8 5
Mariner 300 020 x - 5 6 1
W - Ferrer. L - Clary. S - Watters.
2B - Beltz (LB), Morales (M).
Cape Coral 5, Hardee County 0: Kyle Arjona earned the win with five innings of relief work and benefited from a five-run uprising in the eighth inning as the Seahawks eliminated Hardee County Wednesday night in the Region 5A-3 quarterfinals.
Arjona struck out three in relief of Luke Spangler (5 strikeouts) to improve to 7-1 on the season.
Arjona also delivered the game-winning RBI in the eighth with no outs. Four more runs scored in the eighth to seal the win. Robert Becker, Spangler and Arjona each had two hits.
The Seahawks (21-5) play at Mariner in the Region 5A-3 semifinal round Tuesday night.