KINGSFORD - It was a major learning experience for many of the Gladstone Indians Sunday as they dropped 5-1 and 16-4 American Legion baseball decisions to defending Class A state champion Kingsford.
"We did a lot of good things," said Indians' manager Andy Schwartz. "Kingsford is just good. You have to understand we're playing mostly middle school kids against high school kids. We have a few mental mistakes to clean up, but I'm real proud of the way we played the first game."
Jake Pearson pitched five innings and took the loss in the opener. He struck out six, walked three and gave up five runs on eight hits.
Hayden Hardwick led the Indians (2-4) with two hits.
"We had some real good swings," said Schwartz. "We just didn't have much to show for it. We faced their top two pitchers and they played some good defense on us. I thought our kids handled themselves well. A lot of positives came out of these games."
Hardwick, the first of three Gladstone pitchers, absorbed the loss. Drew Serrer worked a total of three innings in the twinbill and Nick Trudeau pitched the last two frames of Game 2, which lasted five.
The Indians travel to Ishpeming Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. contest.