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Thursday January 28, 2021
SURVIVAL MODE: Indians Sneak Past Iron Mt. 2-1

IRON MOUNTAIN---The Gladstone Indians Under-19 baseball team scored a run in the seventh inning and then held on after a bizarre bottom half to beat Iron Mountain-Kingsford-Norway, 2-1, Thursday, at the Upper Peninsula Finals opener in Iron Mountain.

Riley Baldovski was in control for most of the game on the mound for Gladstone, but the Indians had a hard time hitting Iron Mountain pitchers Caleb Johnson and Kougar Wagner.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Caden Alworden smacked a shot past a diving center fielder for a one-out triple. He scored on a base hit to right field by Dan Martin.

It stayed 1-0 until the sixth inning when Kody Hendricks was safe on an error. With one out, Iron Mountain leadoff man Jesse Julian clubbed a shot just out of the reach of Indians right fielder Blake Krouth for an RBI double.

With two out, Hunter McCarthy was intentionally walked and Baldovski got Josh Weber on a called third strike to keep the game tied at 1-1.

The Indians regained the lead in the top of the seventh. Parker Frappier got a one-out hit over the third base bag into left field, and with two out, Ryan Polley was hit by a pitch. That brought up Ian Schwalbach, who had struck out three straight times. He got two strikes on him before he dumped a single into center field to bring home Frappier.

Things got wild in the bottom of the seventh. Baldovski had allowed only the Julian hit entering the inning, but Wagner and Bryce Pietrantonio got back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. IMKN had Johnson re-enter to bat in the #7 hole, and he lofted a deep fly ball to left field that was caught by Schwalbach. The runners advanced to second and third.

Problem is, Johnson had already batted earlier in the game in the fifth spot. It's against the rules to bat in a different spot in the order, so after a long delay, the umpires ruled that the runners had to go back, and Iron Mountain had two outs.

Kody Hendricks followed with a slow roller that Alworden charged at third base, and made a fine throw across the diamond to cut down Hendricks, ending the game.

Baldovski ended up throwing a three-hitter, allowing one run and walking just the one intenational batter. He struck out nine.

Wagner took the loss in relief for Iron Mountain-Kingsford-Norway, giving up one run on two hits in 4 1/3 innings. Johnson threw 30 pitches at the beginning, striking out five batters.

OTHER GAMES---The Escanaba Cubs beat the Copper Country Flames, 7-5; the Eastern U.P. Wood Ducks surprised the Marquette Blues, 6-5; and the Menominee Red Wave mercied the Bark River Bucs, 10-0, in six innings.

Gladstone (12-5) takes on Escanaba at 10:30 a.m. ET/9:30 CT Friday in Iron Mountain. The game will be broadcast on NewsTalk 600 and www.rrnsports.com.
Iron Mountain then faces Escanaba at 1:00 ET and that will also be broadcast on the radio and on-line.

Click the thumbnails in the ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS box above to see photos and videos, and listen to interviews with Baldovski and Jurek.


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