Mistake-Prone Braves Swept By 7th-Ranked Titans

Click the thumbnails to see video highlights and to hear comments from Manager Tyler Swanson, STA Manager Andy Green, and several STA players.

The Southgate Anderson High School baseball team began a four-game Delta County road trip with a pair of victories over the Gladstone Braves on Friday, winning 14-3 and 11-2, at Don Olsen Field.

The Braves made nine errors in the doubleheader, issued eight walks, and hit four batters, helping the seventh-ranked Division Two team in the state to improve its record to 12-3 on the season.

“When you play good teams, you've got to play clean baseball,” Gladstone Manager Tyler Swanson said. “We didn't do that today. When you give them extra outs, they're going to capitalize, and that's what they did.”

In the opener, Gladstone actually jumped off to a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Johnny Soderman got an RBU single after a Titans error, and Gavin Frossard followed with a two-run single with two out in the inning.

But things turned ugly for the Braves in the third inning as the Titans sent 16 batters to the plate and scored eleven runs, helped along by four Gladstone defensive errors. Christian Sierra smacked a two-run single, and Juan Llanes and Dylan Berrios both had run-scoring hits during a half inning that took 35 minutes to play.

“I know they struggled today, and we are a pretty good team,” STA Manager Andy Green said. “We've been pretty patient at the plate all year, pretty selective, and if you give us an opening, we have enough guys in the order who can put that bat on the ball. We did that today.”

Freshman Copper Sanville got the start on the mound for Braves, and he shut down the Titan batting order the first time through, before the STA guys put together that eleven-run inning.

“He's sneaky fast,” Green said of Sanville. “We had to make an adjustment. They figured out real quick that they were down 3-0 and that Gladstone came to play. We didn't meet that intensity in the first three innings, that's for sure.”

The second game saw the Titans score at least one run in all seven innings, including a three-spot in the second inning that was helped along by a Braves error. Berrios made the Braves pay with a two-run single that gave the Titans a 4-0 lead. Green was able to get all 14 of his varsity players into the games, as well as a couple of JV guys.

The STA team from Metro Detroit came to the Upper Peninsula for the first time ever, leaving on Thursday and planning to stay until Sunday.

Green, who had been to the UP many times over the yearrs when he coached American Legion baseball and participated in the Gregg Johnson Memorial Tournament, said it was more about the experience than the wins and losses.

“Half of the guys have never been to the U.P.,” Green said. “They're looking forward to fishing and stuff. And everybody got a chance to play.”

The boys have enjoyed their time in the UP so far.

“Great win by the guys,” Sierra said. “We all played well as a team together, and we got the job done. This is all very new. The first time I've ever been up here. It's very different, but I like it.”

“I think the game was good, we started a little slow, but we started a fire, and once that started we couldn't be stopped,” Llanes said. “The bus ride was long. We stopped halfway and ate, but it was just slow. Once we got to the hotel, everyone was exhausted. We played a good team today, and we finally brought our best at-bats.”

STA left fielder Drew Porter also liked having this experience.

“It's a great experience getting out in nature and seeing everybody with smiles on their faces,” he said, then added about his first-ever trip across the Mackinac Bridge, “it was a little wobbly. It wasn't my first time being over a bridge, but that was a little interesting, and there was construction, too.”

STA third baseman Jace Welerski agreed.

“It's beautiful up here, on the water, all the wildlife,” he said. “A little bit different from back home, but it looks good. It was different. I usually go with my (summer) travel team, but being here with people I have been with for ten years, man, it was an experience.”

For Gladstone, it was a tough day as the Braves try to get some consistency as the season nears the midway point. The Braves' season record fell to 9-7.

“The potential for this team is there, and we've been saying this for a month now, that good teams make one error and they don't make any more,” Swanson said. “Bad teams make and error and they make three or four after they make the first one. And right now, we're not a good team. So, we've got to go back to the drawing board and keep working on it, and keep getting better. The season's not over. The talent is there, the opportunities are there. We're just not capitalizing right now.”

The Braves get back into conference play on Monday with a doubleheader in Menominee, and on Tuesday, a home game against Kingsford. All three games will be broadcast on FM-93.5, AM-600, and

Southgate Anderson (12-3) plays two games in Escanaba Saturday starting at 11 a.m.

LISTEN: Gladstone Manager Tyler Swanson post-game comments
LISTEN: STA Keegen Jackson comments
LISTEN: STA Jace Walerski comments
LISTEN: STA Drew Porter comments
LISTEN: STA's Juan Llanes post-game comments
LISTEN: STA Manager Andy Green post-game comments
LISTEN: STA Christian Sierra post-game comments