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Tuesday August 11, 2020
Indians Advance To Semifinals; Escanaba Bows Out

IRON MOUNTAIN---It wasn't easy, but the Gladstone Indians Under-19 baseball team won a pair of games on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Upper Peninsula Finals in Iron Mountain. The Indians beat the Escanaba Cubs, 10-1, breaking a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning.

Then Gladstone rallied past the Copper Country Flames, 9-6, in eight innings.

The Cubs were eliminated with a 5-2 loss to Iron Mountain.

The day started with the Battle of Delta County, an hour away in Dickinson County, at 9:30 in the morning, local time. It was a battle on the mound between Escanaba's Grant LaMarche and Gladstone's Ian Schwalbach.
 
The Cubs were in position to take the early lead when Hunter Lancour doubled and Grant LaMarche followed with a single. Gladstone left fielder Riley Baldovski came up throwing and gunned Lancour at the plate, with catcher Dan Martin putting on the tag.
 
It stayed scoreless until the fourth inning when Collin Arnt singled for the Cubs, stole second, and scored on a hit by LaMarche. The Indians, however, got an unearned run in the bottom of the inning on a walk, a bunt, and an error.
 
Then came the fifth inning, when things fell apart for the Cubs. The Indians batted around and scored seven times, with Ryan Polley's RBI single being the only run-scoring hit. Four runs came in on errors, with Parker Frappier's fly ball to right field misjudged, and Zach Hanson's grounder up the middle missplayed at shortstop.
 
Drake Forrest and Poley had RBI singles in the sixth inning to close the scoring, as the Indians took advantage of five Escanaba errors.
 
LaMarche threw the first four innings for the Cubs, allowing five runs (three earned) on three hits, three walks, and several wild pitches. Nick Kolich pitched a full inning of relief, allowing three runs (none earned) on thiree hits and a walk.
 
Connor Aiken finished up for the Cubs.
 
Schwalbach went the distance on the mound for Gladstone, allowing one run on five hits and two walks.
 
The win essentially moved Gladstone into the semifinals, and dropped Escanaba into a much-win situation against the Iron Mountain-Kingsford-Norway team.
 
Escanaba pitcher Hunter Lancour, who won the U.P. title in the Junior tournament on this field last week, was unlucky in this one, and he also struggled with his control. After an unearned run in the second inning, Lancour gave up for runs on two hits in the third inning.

He walked three that inning, and gave up an RBI hit to Bryce Pietrantonio.
 
Trailing  5-0, the Cubs scored twice in the fourth inning on a walk to Lancour, a hit by Laarche, and an RBI single by Noah Lancour. An error allowed a second run to score, but with the runners at the corners, the final two batters of the inning grounded out.
 
It stayed 5-2 into the final inning as Arnt relieved Hunter Lancour and threw three innings of two-hit ball. The Cubs were down to their final out when Kolich and Arnt got back-topback singles, and Hunter Lamcour walked.

But reliever Nathan Bausley got LaMarche to fly out with the tying runs on base to end the ballgame.
 
Hunter Lancour took the loss, allowing only two hits, but tielding six walks. Kody Hendricks threw the first 3 1/3 innings to earn the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk. Hendricks struck out seven batters.

In the third game, the Gladstone Indians and Copper Country Flames also went through the early part of the game scoreless as Kade Farrell pitched well for the Flames, and Mason LaChance was effective for Gladstone.

Gladstone errors gave the Flames a run in the third inning, and then in the fifth inning, the young Copper Country team also made a costly error. Alworden and Martin both got hits for the Indians, and Frappier put down a perfect squeeze bunt to score one run, with another run scoring on a bad throw. That put Gladstone in front, 2-1.

Blake Krouth's RBI single gave the Indians a 3-1 lead.

Things turned quickly against Gladstone in the bottom of the inning when the Flames scored five runs and literally knocked LaChance off the mound. Dean Jurmu's hot shot back up the middle hit on the ground in front of LaChance, hopped up, and hit him in the nose.

It was a painful exit for LaChance, who before that, had hit a man, made an error of his own, and gave up an RBI hit to Reed Heathman.

Dylan Pepin came on to pitch for Gladstone, and after another error brought in the sixth Flames run, he settled down, and pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth inning.

It came to the seventh inning when Farrell ran out of his 105 pitch count allowance. Jurmu came in to throw and after two walks and a wild pitch, the Indians still had a pulse, trailing, 6-4. With two on, Drake Forrest rifled an RBI single to bring the Indians to within 6-5.

With two out, and two strikes on him, Hanson shook off an 0-for-4 game by lofting a base hit to center field, scoring Forrest with the tying run.

Pepin worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, so we went extra innings, and the international tiebreaker was used by each team getting a runner at second base to start the inning.

The Indians, in the top of the eighth, got a pop fly single to right from Krouth just out of the reach of a diving second baseman to bring Frappier in with the go-ahead run.

Then Schwalbach's fly to left was initially misjudged by Eli Oldt, but he ran toward it, slid, and got a piece of the ball, but it fell in. Two runs scored making it 9-6 Gladstone.

In the bottom of the inning, when Pepin walked the leadoff man, Indians Manager Justin Jurek brought Frappier in to finish it. He also walked a batter, but with the tying run at the plate, Frappier got two pop ups to preserve the Gladstone win.

Farrell finished the day throwing 103 pitches for the Flames, and was also 4-for-4 at the plate, using his speed for two infield hits. He also scored twive and walked once.

Martin and Alworden both had three hits for Gladstone.

In the fourth game of the day, Iron Mountain and Copper Country met for a trip to the semifinals on the line. IMKN won. 10-4, to finish 2-1. The Flames ended up 0-3.

BARK RIVER BUCS OUT---Bark River's season came to an end with a pair of losses on Friday in Quinnesec. The Bucs lost to Marquette, 6-2, in a game that was tied at 1-1 until the fifth inning. Eli Werner had three runs batted in and Jon Jason brought in two for the Blues. Nick Javurek, Aidan Johnson, Max Hall, and Johnnie Robinette had the hits for Bark River. In the evening game, the Bucs lost to the Eastern U.P. Wood Ducks from the Soo, 6-2. The Bucs were elminated from the tournament with an 0-3 record on the weekend.

MARQUETTE TOPS MENOMINEE---The Menominee Red Wave still earned the top seed in Pool A despite a 5-4 loss to Marquette in Quinnesec Friday night. The Marquette win eliminated the EUP Wood Ducks after a three-way tie in the pool, with all three teams at 2-1. The EIP team gave up more runs, so was eliminated. Marquette built a 5-0 lead over Menominee through four innings, backing up the pitching of lefty Clayton Smith.

But Smith recahed his pitch count of 102 pitches and Kyle Frusti survived two rocky innings of relief to earn the save. Had Marquette lost the game, the EUP would have made the second seed. Menominee's Jaden Werner took the loss, going 6 1/3 innings.

CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY---The Final Four will see three games, all at Iron Mountain's Liuna Field. The first semifinal is Menominee against Iron Mountain at 10 a.m. CT/11 a.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on WHYB-FM (103.7) and at www.baycitiesonline.com. The second semifinal is Gladstone against Marquette, set for 2 ET/1 CT. It will be broadcast on WCHT-AM (NewsTalk 600) in Delta County, WUPG-FM (Maverick 96.7) in Marquette, and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.

The championship game, at 5 ET/4 CT, will be broadcast on WCHT-AM (NewsTalk 600) and on-line at www.rrnsports.com. It will also be broadcast in Marquette and/or Menominee if those teams are involved.

Click the thumbnails in the ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTSbox above to see photos and videos from some of Friday's action, and hear Gladstone Indians interviews.










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ANOTHER TIGHT ONE: IMKN Boys Fall In Qtrs.
Sunday August 9, 2020
IMKN U-19 Baseball Drops Two In Wisconsin Dells
Saturday August 8, 2020
Gladstone Indians Celebrate Successful '20 Season
Wednesday August 5, 2020
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Saturday August 1, 2020
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