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Mariner rolls into 6A-3 baseball semifinals

May 9, 2018
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Mariner opened the Class 6A baseball playoffs in dominating fashion.

The Tritons crushed Lely 10-0 in six innings Tuesday night, moving on to play host to Barron Collier on May 15 in the Region 6A-3 semifinals.

Barron Collier scored the only run of its game in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday night to eliminate Cypress Lake 1-0.

Article Photos


Mariner sophomore Alex Freeland (10) hit a two-run homer and a two-run triple during the Tritons’ 10-0 win over Lely in the regional quarterfinals Tuesday night. The Tritons face Barron Collier Tuesday in the regional semifinals. To view more photos from the game, see our Facebook page.

Jimmy Meredith pitched a three-hit shutout over six innings, Alex Freeland homered, doubled and drove in four runs and Barron Northorp went 4--for-4 and knocked in the game-ending 10th run in the bottom of the sixth.

"Jimmy's always going to give us a good game," Mariner coach Tom Woodley said. "We knew that. We just knew that we had to get on their guys as early as we could. Alex came up with a two-run shot in the first, which really helped out.

"Jimmy's been doing that all year. That's why he's the captain."

There was drama early. Freeland's two-run homer gave the Tritons a 2-0 lead after one inning, but it looked like Lely (21-7) might get on the board in the second.

Dionel Mena doubled and went to third with nobody out on a botched pickoff attempt. Meredith got the next three batters, although Lely erupted in protest on a close out call to end the inning.

"The guy got on third with nobody out, and I told the guys you've just got to play the game, play the game the right way," Woodley said. "(Lely)'s got to execute, and they really didn't execute there.

"(Meredith) got kind of frustrated that the guy got the double off him. He missed his spot. He was kind of upset."

Lely's ill will toward the umpires reared its head in the bottom of the fifth, leading to a barking Trojans coach being ejected. Once Lely head coach Greg Dombrowski had his say, the Tritons had their say to the tune of six runs.

"I thought we left some runners out there in the first couple of innings," Woodley said. "We decided to keep it simple, put the ball in play, keep it moving, and everything would take care of itself."

Before the spat, Mariner had Meredith on first and Jaylen Youngs trying to bunt him over. After the argument, Youngs reached on an error. Freeland doubled home Meredith and Youngs, and Louis Alberro singled to score Freeland. Two outs later, Wade Williamson produced an RBI hit. Nothorp singled, then a wild pitch for strike three to Xzavien Torres led to an errant throw to first by the catcher, and Williamson scored. Meredith had his second hit of the inning to bring Torres home.

Up 8-0, the Tritons closed the game out an inning later. Freeland opened the rally with his third hit and came around to score on Donnie Goodman's fielder's choice. Gavin Walker and Williamson reached to load the bases, and Nothorp ended the night with an RBI single.

"In the last three weeks, Barron has really come a long way," Woodley said. "He was struggling early in the season. That's how it's been going. All we ask is the guys keep fighting, keep fighting. He showed up. Barron's a trouper. He has caught every single game this year. I give him credit. He's a trouper. We don't have anyone else."

After getting out of that second-inning situation, Meredith didn't allow another hit until two outs in the sixth. And then promptly picked Lely's Gabe Lopez off first to end the inning.

As for Freeland, whose three-run homer capped Mariner's seventh-inning rally to win the District 6A-11 title at Cypress Lake, Woodley said, "He's a pertty humble dude. All he's trying to, do, he's trying to hit the ball hard somewhere. He takes what the pitcher's giving him. He's just a special ballplayer."

Mariner's turnaround season marches on. A team that started the year 1-7 is now 16-12 and in the second round of the state Class 6A playoffs.

As for that second round, "We're going to enjoy the win tonight, and worry about that tomorrow," Woodley said.


Oxbridge Academy 6, Bishop Verot 3: The Vikings' season ended one game short of the state Class 4A final four. Bishop Verot finished the year 16-12, while the ThunderWolves from West Palm Beach improved to 21-5. Oxbridge Academy faces Westminster Christian in the state semifinals on May 16.



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