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Wednesday January 23, 2019
ROARING BACK: Braves Complete Rivalry Sweep

GLADSTONE---The Gladstone Braves scored ten unanswered runs and beat the Escanaba Eskymos, 11-3, Thursday night at the Gladstone Sports Park. Jared Crow's home run started the comeback after Jake LaFave's three-run shot put Escanaba in front.

The win gives Gladstone a sweep of the two-game season series over Escanaba.

A planned third meeting, set for Memorial Day, has been cancelled because the Eskymos will be playing the next day in a district tournament game in Petoskey.

The wind was blowing out at 25 miles per hour Thursday night, and it made everything in the air an adventure.

And it gave a big boost to LaFave's long drive off Braves starting pitcher Clay Cole in the third inning. It was LaFave's first Eskymo home run, scoring Austin Willette and Tyler Lawson in front of him.

But those three hits were the only ones the Eskymos managed off of Cole until late in the game when Aaron Young singled in the sixth inning and Jake Anderson doubled in the seventh. By that time, the Braves had the game well in hand.

Gladstone's comeback started just moments after LaFave's home run when Cody Frappier walked in the bottom of the third inning and scored on Crow's long bomb to left field. That home run was more of a line drive that was not aided by the wind.

In the fourth inning, Gladstone scored five runs. Carson Shea led off with a base hit and scored on a fly ball by Cole that got up in the wind and landed for a double. Escanaba pitcher Grant LaMarche appeared to get out of the inning down by just a run when Braeden Lamberg hit a ground ball to short. It was booted for an error.

After that, Crow got an RBI hit and Owen Hanson smacked a two-run base hit, hustling his way to second base for the double.

Hanson smacked another two-run hit in the sixth inning off of Escanaba reliever Johnny Schlenvogt, with Lamberg scoring and Crow chugging around all the way from first base. Cooper Cavadeas closed the scoring with an RBI single, and the Braves had their second win over the rivals. Both times, Escanaba had the early lead.

Cole had his curveball working all night long, getting the Eskymo hitters to mostly beat the ball into the ground. And the Braves defense was flawless in the field. Cole threw a complete-game five-hitter, striking out four and walking just one batter.

For the Eskymos, aside from the fifth inning when they made three errors, it was not a poor performance. But they couldn't string enough hits together.

LaMarche took the loss, allowing eight runs (four earned) on eight hits.

Gladstone (16-2) is back on the field Friday with a doubleheader against Sault Ste. Marie. Game time is 4:00. Both games will be broadcast on WCHT-AM NewsTalk 600.

Escanaba (8-3) returns to action with its home tournament on Saturday.

The Eskymos will play the Soo at noon, and will face Kingsford at 5:00. The game with Kingsford will be broadcast on WCHT-AM NewsTalk 600.

The other games feature Bark River-Harris against the Soo at 9:30 a.m. (listen live on Eagle 107.3 FM) and the Broncos against Kingsford at 2:30.

Click the thumbnails in the ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS box above to see photos taken by Brenda Crow, and to listen to post-game interviews with Clay Cole, Jared Crow, and Braves Manager Don Lauscher.

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