MARQUETTE - Ryan Hanson hadn't pitched in nearly two weeks and at times Friday night at Marquette's Haley Memorial Field, it showed.
"He was high on his pitches," Marquette American Legion Blues manager Derek Swajanen admitted about his hurler following his team's 14-4 six-inning win over the Gladstone Juniors. "He hadn't thrown for 12 days.
"He still did a good job, though. His breaking ball was good and he was always hanging around the plate.
Adelle Whitefoot | Marquette Mining Journal
Gladstone’s Braden Lambert hits the ball during the top of the second inning agaisnt the Marquette Blues Friday, at Gerald Haley Memorial Field in Marquette.
"We were thinking of only letting him go three or four innings, but we decided to stretch him out a bit (to get him some work)," Swajanen added.
Hanson allowed five hits and walked four, but he also struck out 10 in going the distance.
He got plenty of hitting support as the Blues (10-5) rapped out 15 hits, including four triples and three doubles.
"We put good barrels on the ball." Swajanen acknowledged.
Trevor Bratonia led the way with three hits, including a double. Riley Lynch, Hunter Larson, Sam Leow and McKinley Larson all added two hits apiece.
Larson knocked in three runs.
"Four or five games ago, McKinley was hitting the cover off the ball," Swajanen said. "Then, he got a loop in his swing.
"We worked with him on the basics and (Thursday in practice), he was driving the ball again."
After Bratonia hit an RBI-double in the first, Larson followed with a run-scoring two-bagger.
In the third, Larson belted a two-run triple to left-center to give the Blues a 4-0 lead.
"That double felt good," Larson said, though he was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit. "Coach (Swajanen) yelled at me to try to get there. It was a good throw by the right fielder.
"On the triple, I was just trying to find (a pitch) close to the plate. I found a gap."
After Gladstone scored twice in the fourth - one on an RBI-single by Hayden Hardwick - the Blues grabbed an 8-2 advantage with a three-run surge in their half of the frame.
Lynch had the key hit, a two-run triple to right.
"The Blues are a good hitting team," Gladstone Juniors manager Andy Schwartz said. "They had a few mistakes that helped us and twice now, (Swajanen) has been aggressive. in their play.
"But we played pretty good defensively and I'm pleased in the direction we're going."
Ben Schwalbach led Gladstone (2-6) offensively, going 3-for-4 and scoring a run.
"He's an eighth grader," Schwartz noted.