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'Mariners Showdown' heats up with final rounds

@gregjohnsmlb
May 11, 2020

SEATTLE -- Eight fans and eight Mariners players survived the first round of the “Mariners Showdown” competition, a virtual baseball tournament using the MLB The Show 20 video game, and now things pick up speed as the final rounds take place this week. The original field of 32 was halved

SEATTLE -- Eight fans and eight Mariners players survived the first round of the “Mariners Showdown” competition, a virtual baseball tournament using the MLB The Show 20 video game, and now things pick up speed as the final rounds take place this week.

The original field of 32 was halved in the first round of play, during which Mariners players won eight of the 16 games.

The Mariners will make a $5,000 donation to COVID-19 relief efforts in the name of the eventual winner. If a fan wins, he will also receive front-row tickets to a future Mariners game and the chance to throw out a first pitch.

Viewers can follow along at Mariners.com/Showdown for schedules, results and highlights and view the livestreams at Twitch.tv/Mariners.

Round 2 of the tournament started Monday morning, with four games scheduled on Monday and Tuesday. The final eight will play on Wednesday, followed by the four winners on Thursday and championship game on Friday.

Mariners players who advanced to the second round are pitchers Zac Grotz, Taijuan Walker, Art Warren, Justin Dunn and Carl Edwards Jr., catcher Cal Raleigh, infielder Tim Lopes and outfielder Julio Rodriguez.

They’ll each face one of the remaining eight fans in the second round.

The tournament has already led to some interesting interactions between players and fans, including a memorable post-game exchange between Dunn and an 11-year-old named Axel from San Luis Obispo, Calif., who sent Dunn a heartfelt thank you note after their match, which Dunn won, 6-0.

Dunn responded with a video, inviting Axel to come to a game and get introduced to the Mariners.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.