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Wednesday July 28, 2021
Braves Shake Off Slow Start; Win Baseball District

GLADSTONE---The Gladstone High School baseball team had a couple of battles on its hands on Saturday, but pulled through in the end to beat Newberry, 11-2, and Iron Mountain, 7-0, to capture the MHSAA Division Two baseball district championship in Gladstone. The Braves will host Negaunee in the regionals Wednesday night.

Gladstone scored the first run against Newberry when Zach Hanson nearly hit one out of the park in the top of the third inning. He settled for a double, bringing home Caden Alworden. But the Indians took a 2-1 lead when Gladstone starting pitcher Carson Shea ran into control troubles.

He walked in a run with a bases loaded walk, then he hit Connor Ritamaki to force in another run.

But Gladstone bounced back quickly in the fourth inning.

Jared Crow ripped an RBI single to bring home courtesy runner Ryan Polley to tie the game, then Alworden squeezed home Drake Forrest to make it 3-2. Riley Baldovski scored on a wild pitch, and a balk scored the fourth run of the inning to make it 5-2.

The Braves added three more runs in the fiifth inning on a Cody Frappier double off the outfield fence, followed by another sharply-hit RBI single by Crow. An error on an Alworden ground ball scored Gladstone's eighth run of the game.

Frappier's sacrafice fly brought in another run in the sixth inning, then Hanson hit a sacrafuce fly in the seventh.

Ian Schwalbach's RBI single closed the scoring.

Shea settled down to throw a complete game, getting the final out on his 102nd pitch.

The future Bay College pitcher gave up eight hits, walked one, and struck out nine batters. Both runs against him were unearned because of errors that happened before the runs scored on the bases loaded walk and HBP.

Josh Magnusson was 3-for-4 to lead Newberry.

Hanson, Crow, and Alworden all had two hits for the Braves.

In the second semifinal, Iron Mountain slipped past Menominee, 6-4, setting up a Braves-Mountaineers district final. And it was a tight game for quite a while.

The game was scoreless until the Braves broke through with a run in the bottom of the third inning when Hanson singled home Christian Creten. It stayed 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth, when Cooper Cavadeas doubled to left field, scoring a pair of runs.

Iron Mountain had a threat in the top of the sixth when the Mountaineers loaded the bases with nobody out against Gladstone's starting pitcher, Crow. Riley Baldovski came on in a sticky situation, and served up a fly ball to Frappier in left field, which turned into a double play.

The next batter grounded out, and the league was preserved.

The Braves put the game away with four runs in the bottom of the sixth, with Frappier singling in two runs. The final two runs came in on wild pitches.

Gladstone (26-7) advances to the regional tournament, with a home game Wednesday night against Negaunee. The winner of that game will face either Traverse City St. Francis or Boyne City Saturday morning in downstate Clare.

Gladstone and Negaunee have split their four meetings this season, with the Miners sweeping a doubleheader in Gladstone and the Braves returning the favor in Negaunee. Wednesday's game starts at 6:00 and will be broadcast on NewsTalk 600.

Click the thumbnails in the ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS box above to see photos, videos from the Braves-Newberry game.

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Friday June 14, 2019
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