May 13, 2013

Mariners’ phenomenal run finally halted

By Johnny Bransford

The Mariners have had a great run this season and set two COM records, but unfortunately lost in the Regional Playoffs.

The Mariners have had a great run this season and set two COM records, but unfortunately lost in the Regional Playoffs.

After the Mariners posted one of their best seasons to date, winning the Bay Valley Conference and posting a 19-5 record against conference foes, their season came crashing down quickly after being upset in the Regional Playoffs.

Heading into Regionals, the Mariners were placed with the #3 seed, squaring off against in-conference foe, #13 Solano College. In a best 2 out of 3 series, the Mariners believed they had what it took to extend their season, especially with home field advantage throughout the entire series.

Playing their first game under the hot sun, the Mariners and starting pitcher, Ben Herrick were able to contain the Falcons offense while keeping their bats hot, posting 5 runs. The Mariners handily won Game 1 by the score of 5-2. The next day, it looked as if the Mariners would be advancing to the next round, until the game took a tremendous turn in the Falcons favor. In the 9th inning, the Mariners led 2-0, bringing in Tyler Ihrig to pitch the final inning, who had a school-record 17 saves this season. Ihrig who had been more than consistent this year, allowed 4 hits and 3 runs to concede the win for the Mariners.

The series being tied, meant they had to enter into Game 3. The Falcons came in carrying momentum from the game before and nailed 6 runs on the board, while the Mariners could only muster up 4, losing the final game and becoming eliminated from the playoffs.

Though this was a hard hit to the club, head coach Steve Berringer, was still impressed by the season his team had.

“In terms of the regular season, it was great. I’m happy and proud of our guys, we had a historic run considering we haven’t won the Bay Valley Conference since 2009. As for the playoffs, I’m shocked and disappointed. We had high expectations coming into the Regionals; we planned on playing for the State Championship. But, overall we had great success this year and our sophomores are going to reap the benefits, receiving upwards of $20,000 scholarships and continuing their baseball careers,” said Berringer.

Ben Herrick and Tyler Ihrig both set College of Marin records this year, and are both looking forward to what the future has in store for them in the coming years. The fact that COM’s success came from their pitching is something the Mariners look to continue the next season.

“It was a tale of two seasons really. The first season was great, we were Conference Champions and they can’t take that away. The second season sucked. There’s really no other way to put it. I think we were, and still are stunned. After Game 1 going the way it did, we felt invincible,” said Jake Barron, starting of the third game. “That’s just baseball. They beat us. They strung hits together and were patient at the plate, they played good defense and threw strikes. It’s the most disappointed I’ve felt as long as I’ve been playing, and I don’t think I’m alone. We can go back and point fingers at this guy or this play, but that’s not the kind of group we have. It’s just what happens when you get beat.”

Although the season didn’t end in the fashion the Mariners were hoping for, they can take pride with the numerous players that had an outstanding year, and hope to continue this recipe into next year’s campaign.

April 16, 2013

Baseball team in first place, softball team improves

By Johnny Bransford

Members of the College of Marin baseball team, the Mariners, are first place in their league.

Members of the College of Marin baseball team, the Mariners, are first place in their league.

With a little less than two weeks left in the regular season, the COM baseball team is looking to capture the league title. With a 24-7 overall record, the Mariners lead the Bay Valley Conference. Four of College of Marin’s pitchers have a chance to be named All-Conference players, and one may be crowned Pitcher of the Year. This team finds peace knowing every game they’re running an ace out to the mound.

Sophomore starting pitcher, Jake Barron said, “We’re over 20 wins, and any time you can do that you can call it a good year. We know we have a shot this year, and we can’t call it a great year without making some noise in the playoffs.”

Winning 10 of their last 11 games, the Mariners have continued to pitch tremendously with Barron, Herrick and Ihrig posting the top three ERA’s in the Bay Valley Conference, as well as Ihrig leading the league with 14 saves. Barron and Herrick have combined for 13 wins this season. Althought the pitching staff is rock solid right now, their freshman catcher, Tommy Beritzhoff can’t be overlooked.

Barron said, “He’s an animal. Not only as a catcher, fielding and throwing guys out, but his clutch hitting is something that needs to be noticed.” Beritzhoff has 18 hits to go along with 13 RBI and has thrown out 21 of 40 runners stealing this year, while only allowing four pass balls. Aside from pitching and catching, the COM hitters have gone on a tear as of late too.

Patrick Hodges is top five in the league in hitting, posting a .352 batting average with 28 RBI. Casey Levy-Tulloch has hammered three home runs, putting him 3rd in the league. With five games remaining in their season, the Mariners are sitting in first place leading Mendocino by two games and Laney by three. Four of their final five games are at home against Los Medanos, Yuba and Mendocino.

College of Marin softball has put together a year to remember up to this point. With a 19-14 record, the women’s team has more than improved since last season. Led by sophomore pitcher, Samantha Schilling who has been more than great on the mound, leading the state in strikeouts.

Newcomers to the team who have made an impact this year include; Gianna Bruschera, Nia Ceasar, Bridget Pacchetti and Neika Peterson who have all done significant damage at the plate. Freshman Gianna Bruschera said, “We’ve made a huge improvement over last year’s team. Beating our rival Solano 4-2 was a huge win for us, and we’re looking to keep the momentum rolling.”

In fourth place, the Mariners are looking to make a playoff push as the season winds down to the end.

March 15, 2013

COM Mariners off to strong seasonal start

By Johnny Bransford

A COM Mariner batter prepares to swing.

A COM Mariner batter prepares to swing.

College of Marin baseball has gotten off to a hot start this year. Led by local talent, the Mariners are looking to carry their winning streak throughout league play. Starting the season with a 6-0 record heading into league games, they knew what was potentially there. Led by a very talented pitching staff including Jake Barron, Ben Herrick, Tyler Ihrig and Will White, this Mariners team believes they have what it takes to win the Bay Valley Conference.

The Mariners’ designated hitter and clean-up man Patrick Hodges has been a menace at the plate, knocking in several RBIs this year as well as one of the league’s best hitters, Casey Levy-Tulloch. Other everyday starters making an impact are freshman infielders Bryan Bostjancic and Ryan Burke,  as well as sophomore leadoff batter Alex Boeri and center fielder Nate Gartrell.

This team is built on solid pitching, timely hitting, and well executed defense. Starting pitcher Jake Barron said, “We’re a team that thrives on pitching, every day we’ll run out a great starter and you can expect us to get just enough offense to win. We have great fielding behind us and that keeps our pitchers comfortable on the mound.” Led by a pitching staff with several years of experience at the collegiate level, the Mariners believe they have a great shot to win the league title this year. Barron continued to say, “With our work ethic and team chemistry we believe it’s only ourselves stopping us this year. We feel like there is nothing we can’t accomplish when we all play for each other. With Herrick and White pitching on an entirely different level this year, and Ihrig coming to close our games out, we are nothing less than extremely confident with our squad.”

With a 13-5 record, it’s apparent the Mariners are off to the start they were looking for. If they continue working with the recipe in hand, it looks like the club can capture the Bay Valley Conference.


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