Gladstone Braves Beat Mistake-Prone Mountaineers
Click the thumbnails to see videos taken by Brad Landis, and to hear post-game comments from seniors Braden Sundquist, Aedan Creten, and Iron Mountain Manager Jeff McLean.
GLADSTONE---The Gladstone Braves baseball team celebrated its fourth straight win on Wednesday, celebrating Senior Night with a 9-1 win over the Iron Mountain Mountaineers at Don Olsen Field.
The Braves took advantage of six Iron Mountain errors to improve to 10-2 on the season. It was a celebration for Gladstone seniors Braden Sundquist, Aedan Creten, Tyler Darmogray, Eli Terrian, Brennon Detiege, and Noah Peterson.
"It's crazy to say I'm a senior," said Creten, after reaching base all four times, including one on a walk after a 13-pitch at-bat. "I remember my sophomore year, my first year, just like it was last week."
Sundquist threw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless, hitless ball before giving way to two relief pitchers. He moved to third base, and caught a line drive off the bat of Aiden Ellis to rob Ellis of an RBI hit to end the top of the fourth inning.
"I was expecting a pretty good (strike) zone for the most part," Sundqquist said of home plate umpire Mike Pankow, who is Bay College's head coach. "I was just trying to get ahead (in the count). I was a little bit wild early, but I started to settle down later in the game."
What about that catch at third base?
"I saw the ball well off the bat and got a good jump," Sundquist said. "I was able to make the play."
Creten had an RBI single in the first inning, walked twice, and was safe on an error in his final at-bat, causing havoc for the Mountaineers on the base path.
"He (IM pitcher Carson McLean) kept jamming me inside and I couldn't get it fair," Creten said of the 13-pitch walk. "I feel like I've been seeing the ball much better these past few games. A walk is a walk. It doesn't hurt!"
Ultimately, defensive mistakes by the Mountaineer infield was the difference, with six errors leading to eight unearned runs against McLean, who allowed just six hits but threw 97 pitches in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss on the mound.
"If you make mistakes and give teams like Gladstone a second chance, they might be the best team in the U.P., you're definiely not going to beat them," Iron Mountain Managet Jeff McLean said. "I thought Carson pitched well. We've got go be better. But Gladstone. They're the real deal. They're coached well, and we didn't even see their top guy today (pitcher Tyler Darmogray). They're going to be tough down the road to beat, I cam tell you that."
Zeke Runsat had a sharply-hit RBI single off Gladstone reliever Gavin Frossard to bring in the only Mountaineer run, right before Sundquist robbed Ellis of even more runs. Runsat's hit turned out to be the only one of the game for the Mountaineers, who fell to 1-8-1 on the seaosn.
Gladstone improved to 10-2 after winning its fourth straight game.
The teams later played a three-inning junior varsity game, with Gladstone winning, 4-0. Austin Pepin celebrated his 16th birthday by throwing two shutout innings.
Mountaineer first baseman Evan Haferkorn (a senior who played both games) suffered an ugly injury when he tried to catch a foul ball and went head-first into the poll attached to the fence near the first base dugout. His forehead was gashed open. He got a concussion and needed five stitches once he returned home to Iron Mountain Wednesday night.
The Braves are off on Friday, and will host Escanaba in another Great Northern Conference game Saturday afternoon at noon. The game will be broadcast on WCHT-FM/AM (93.5/600) and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.
ESCANABA 13, MENOMINEE 3---The Eskymos struggled with last-place Menominee on Thursday, sitting tied at 3-3 in the fourth inning, before scoring ten straight runs to beat the Maroons, 13-3, in five innings. Nick Chiu pitched all five innings to get the win.
KINGSFORD 11, NEGAUNEE 4---The Flivvers bounced back from two losses to Gladstone by beating Negunee on the road, 11-4. Pablo Finley had three hits and drove in two runs as the Flivvers jumped to an early 6-0 lead and cruised from there. Garrett Brown pitched four innings to earn the win, allowing two runs (none earned) on two hits and four walks.