It was a similar story for the IMG Mustangs again today: knock out the starting pitcher, and get quieted by a dominant relief effort. Fortunately, their early offense was enough to suffice, and they came away with their first victory of the season and deliver the IMG Hurricanes their first loss.
The Mustangs got a great effort from starting pitcher, Carlos Lira, who went 4 2/3 innings while striking out five and limiting the Hurricanes to just two hits. Lira retired that first nine batters that he faced, got himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, and came back to strike out the last three batters he faced.
The Mustang bats got busy right away today, with the first three batters of the game all crossing home plate. Vernon Trice led off the bottom half of the first with a walk, and got himself into scoring position by stealing second base. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Chris Dinelli and Sean Murray ensured a 3-0 lead after one inning.
The Mustangs showed to be aggressive on the base baths as Josh Cooper reached on a walk, stole second and third, and scored on an errant throw from the catcher.
Brett McMahon came in for relief in the second inning and silenced the Mustang bats. McMahon retired the first seven batters he faced, gave up only two hits, struck out two, and did not allow any free passes.
As McMahon stopped the bleeding, the Hurricanes could not get any offense going until the sixth inning. Three consecutive singles by Aaron Ball, Gabriel Lowerre, and Nick Mace finally got Hurricanes on the board, cutting the Mustangs lead in half, 4-2.
However, that is all the runs the Mustangs and relief pitcher, Evan Garfinkle, would allow. Garfinkle, a side-winding right-hander, looked good on the bump, striking out four batters in just 2 1/3 innings of work.
Lead-off man, Vernon Trice, did a nice job of getting on base, going 1-1 with a single, two walks, and two stolen bases.
In other action around the IMGWBL:
Lightning 4 7 1
Sea Dogs 5 7 3
WP - Corey Wiley - 5 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 6 SO, 1 BB
SV - Tyler Helphenstein - 2 IP,2 H, 2 ER
Top Performer - Anthony Hajjar - 2-3, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, SB
Conquistadors 4 15 2
Ospreys 3 3 0
WP - Cooper Smith - CG, 3 H, 1 ER, 11 SO, 0 BB
Top Performer - Scott Quinlan - 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, SB
Hurricanes 2 3 1
Mustangs 4 6 1
WP - Carlos Lira - 4 2/3 IP, 2 H, 5 SO
Top Performer - Chris Dinelli - 2-3, 2B, R, RBI
Buccaneers 5 7 2
Hammerheads 2 7 0
WP - Mike Sanford - 3 IP, 2 H, 2 SO, 0 R
Top Performer - Ben Johnson - 3-3. 3B, R RBI
Team W L GB
Hurricanes 3 1 -
Sea Dogs 3 1 -
Buccaneers 3 1 -
Lightning 2 2 1
Ospreys 2 2 1
Conquistadors 2 2 1
Hammerheads 1 3 2
Mustangs 1 3 2