The teams traded runs through the next four innings and went to the bottom of the sixth with the Mariners leading 6-2 when the game took a wild turn.
Manchester Essex appeared to have broken the game wide open scoring a run on a wild pitch followed by a back breaking three run blast from Mike Cain to make it 10-2, but the Rams wouldn’t go out quietly.
Cam D’Agostino cut the Mariners lead to 10-5 with a three run bomb to left field chasing Gentile. Two batters later Marco Luisi made it 10-6 with his second solo shot in as many innings. But reliever Rusty Tucker would get the final two outs to preserve the win and control of the series for the time being.
“They’re a good, young team, we knew they wouldn’t go out quietly,” Lafata said. “That sixth inning rally turned out to be big for us. It was key for us to take advantage of their mistakes in the first and the sixth.”
The Mariners will send staff ace Tucker to the hill in Game 4 Saturday in a Game 1 rematch against Mike Sloban. Tucker out-dueled Sloban in Game 1 to the tune of a 3-2 Mariners win. Rowley will need to solve Tucker at home on Saturday to keep its season going.
“We like playing at home,” Wood said. “We have a young, athletic team and we play well there. We gotta tip our cap to the Mariners tonight but we will be back and ready to play on Saturday.”