ESSEX — Jordan Silva had stolen second looking to be the tying run in the top of the seventh with two outs Tuesday night.
But Silva came off the base and was called out on a controversial play that gave the Manchester Essex Mariners the win over the Rowley Rams, 6-5.
Manchester Essex starting pitcher Brandon Bell was perfect through four innings, but gave up a leadoff single by Ralph Renzulli. He then gave up a two-run home run for the first runs of the game.
"I think Brandon pitched really well today," said Mariners player Nate Bertolino. "[Joe Orlando] had a good day behind the plate and he called a really good game. Brandon always hits his spots. He's a workhorse out there. We wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for him."
Bell pitched a complete game, giving up five runs on five hits and striking out four. Bell also hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth that proved to be the difference.
The rest of the Mariners' offense came mostly from Rowley mistakes.
Mike MacFarland hit a fly ball in the bottom of the second which was missed by the right fielder which scored the first two runs of the game. The inning continued with Rory Gentile hitting a sacrifice fly which ended up scoring two more when the ball didn't get in fast enough.
"We capitalized on some of their mistakes," Bertolino explained. "When we've got nine or 10 guys showing up for a game, we have to capitalize."
Bell added the home run to cushion the lead. Gentile was the only Mariners player to have a multiple hit game. He went 2-3 with a sacrifice fly.
Prior to the controversial final out, Tim Moore had hit a two-run home run to cut the lead to one in the top of the seventh. Silva reached on an error to continue the inning. He then stole second, but his foot came off the bag and Graham tagged him.
Rowley's manager was arguing two things about the play: Silva had called time anyway, and that if the bag was off of its position, play is dead. The umpires concurred that he was out and that the game was over. They certainly did not hear some kind words from the Rowley players and fans.
Bertolino on the final out: "It was a questionable call, but it was a call that was made in our favor. We're happy that it went our way."
The Mariners face Rowley again tonight in Rowley (5:45 p.m.).
"We always play a little tough in Rowley. It's always hot. It will be 95 degrees, so it will be a tough game."