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Thursday January 28, 2021
Marquette Blues Open Season With Win In Hancock
HANCOCK---The Marquette Blues kicked off its Upper Peninsula U-19 Baseball season with a come-from-behind 10-6 win over the Copper Country Flames Tuesday night in Hancock. The Blues rallied from a 6-3 deficit by scoring seven runs over the final two innings to get the win.

Marquette starting pitcher Clayton Smith got into trouble with walks in the opening inning, walking the bases loaded before getting a strikeout to end the inning. Smith would settle down over the next two innings, and ended up allowing no hits and striking out five batters.

In the top of the fourth, Jon Jason singled home one run and Blake Henriksen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to put Marquette in the lead, 3-0.

Hogan Nemetz came on to pitch for Marquette and Nemetz had trouble with walks as well, giving up three free passes. The Flames got three base hits in the inning, and two runs scored on an error. Copper Country had a 6-3 lead entering the sixth inning.

Marquette scored three times in the top of the sixth to tie the game, as two errors, a walk, a hit by Peter VandenAvond, and an RBI hit by Jake Peterson. 

Then in the seventh inning, Marquette scored four more runs to go up 10-6. Two walks and an error plated the go-ahead run, Henrickson ripped an RBI hit and Eli Werner singled home two more runs. Jason retired the Flames in order to end the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Flames, with a mostly young roster, made six errors in the game.

For Marquette, Werner went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in. Henriksen was also 2-for-4 with two RBI. Peterson and Jason also had two hits and an RBI. Nemetz earned the pitching win despite allowing five runs on four hits in three innings.

The second game of the doubleheader was called after two innings because of darkness, with Marquette leading, 4-3.

This league was set up amongst eight Upper Peninsula teams after the American Legi0on cancelled this summer's seasons. Marquette was scheduled to host the state tournament, but now will have to wait until 2021 to do that.

The Blues are trying to fit in around three dozen games over the next five weeks before the Upper Peninsula Finals are held in late July in Iron Mountain.

Both Marquette and Copper Country will be in Delta County this weekend for the Gregg Johnson Memorial Weekend. All eight U.P. teams will play in the event, with each team playing four games. There will be two games played Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, simultaneously on the Escanaba, Gladstone, and Bay College fields.

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