Merchants split on the road

ANACORTES—On a day when it looked like the clouds might burst at any moment, a shower of offense came instead for the Whidbey Island Merchants during the first game of their double-header.

“We had some guys that hadn’t been there this year and that really made a difference,” manager Mike Ross said.

In all the local 28 and over mens team tallied 16 hits, 13 walks and two hit batters in their first game, helping them cruise to an 18-4 victory over the Anacortes Buba Sudz.

Whidbey took the initial advantage after a bases loaded walk of Everett Goudeau in the first inning. After briefly falling behind, 2-1 going into the second inning, the Merchants regained the lead for good on one-out double by Walt Bankowski and a RBI single by Dave Moody.

Moody and Bankowski tied for a game-high three RBI apiece.

Joining the hit parade for the Merchants was Bill Russell (2-for-3, RBI), Keith Ross (2-for-3, 2 RBI) Todd Melnick, (2-for-3, RBI) Wayne Welshans (2-for-4, RBI) and Goudeau (1-for-3, 2 RBI).

Defensively, the Merchants also played solid in their first game.

“The defense is working its way around,” Ross said.

Playing his first game of the season, Goudeau did a particularly nice job sealing up the corner at third. His charging stop and quick toss to first base in the bottom of the sixth inning stood out to Ross as the defensive play of the game.

“Nothing really got by him,” Ross said.

Melnick again showed his domination on the mound, striking out 11 batters, scattering seven hits over seven innings en route to his second win of the season.

The second game was a slightly different story for the Merchants, as they fell 8-2. Defensive mistakes, which have given them trouble so far this season, came into play again.

“What came up and bit us again was the errors,” Ross said.

Whidbey committed six errors, which didn’t help the cause of pitcher Don Jenkins. Jenkins was solid, going a complete seven innings, giving up five earned runs and striking out two.

With their loss, the Merchants drop to 2-4 for the season, with six regular season game remaining.

All of those games will be played at home, with the first at 11 a.m. this Sunday, June 29 against the Bellingham Shockers.

They take two weeks off before playing July 20 and July 27. All games are double-headers and begin at 11 a.m at the Oak Harbor High School baseball field.

“It’s a chance to watch the game of baseball,” Ross said. “We’re not by any means professional players, we just love to play the game.”

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