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Mariners end season at districts

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FLORENCE — The Mission Valley Mariners wrapped up their 2020 American Legion baseball season last weekend during the Western A district tournament in Florence.

On Thursday, the Mariners opened the first round of the tournament with a 5-4 extra-inning win over the Missoula Mavs. The Mariners jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Mavs after scoring a run in both the first and second innings.

The Mavs scored two runs in the top of the third inning to tie the game up 2-2. In the fifth inning, both teams pushed a run across the plate to remain tied at 3-3. An extra inning of play was required after both teams failed to score in the sixth and seventh innings. 

A single run in the top of the eighth inning helped the Mavs break the tie and claim a 4-3 advantage over the Mariners. A Mission Valley two-run rally in the bottom of the eighth pushed the Mariners past the Mavs for the 5-4 victory. 

Pitchers Alex Muzquiz and Dylan Davis split time on the mound, for the Mariners, pitching four innings each. Xavier Fisher led the Mariners with two hits, two singles and an RBI.

On Friday, the Bitterroot Bucs slipped past the Mariners 8-5 during a second-round matchup. Mariner bats scored two runs in the first and sixth innings followed by a single run in the seventh.

In a round three loser-out game on Saturday, the Mariners fell 7-5 to the Libby Loggers. After the first three innings, Libby had a 4-1 lead. The Mariners scored two runs to pull within one run of the Loggers, 4-3 in the fourth inning. Libby scored a run in the fifth and two runs in the sixth inning to take a 7-3 lead. A pair of runs pulled the Mariners within two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

James Bennett led the Mission Valley hitters with two hits and an RBI. Trevor Lake had an RBI double, and Ethan McCauley had a triple.

On the hill for the Mariners, Fisher pitched six innings, allowing seven runs on 12 hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Eric Dolence faced five Logger batters in one inning for the Mariners.

The Mariners end the season under first-year coach Brad Fisher with an 18-15 overall record. They are set to return most of their roster next year, and Dolence will the lone senior on the squad.

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