Braves swept by Miners

GLADSTONE — Finally getting to play on its home field, the Gladstone baseball team struggled to get much going in losses to Negaunee. The Braves lost the opener 5-2 and the nightcap 6-5 here Tuesday afternoon.

The Miners jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opener thanks to some sloppy defense Braves’ defense.

“The first game was very disappointing. It was our home opener and we came out flat,” Braves’ coach Kelly Shea said. “In the first inning, we had two errors right off the bat, then we had a strikeout and our catcher let the ball go to the backstop for another run. We got off to a terrible start and could not get it together. We missed our cut-off man and let a guy get to second base and he ended up scoring. It’s frustrating because it’s fundamentals we pride ourself on and work on in practice but we didn’t do it today.”

Gladstone (5-4) responded with single runs in the first and second, but gave up another pair of runs to Negaunee in the top of the second. That was all the scoring in the opener.

Carter Richardson led the Miners (2-0) with two hits and two runs. He reached in all three plate appearances, also drawing a walk. Tanner Peterson pitched five solid innings, giving up just three hits, two runs (one earned) while walking five and striking out one. Alex Munson struck out all three batters he faced for the save in the sixth.

Zach Hanson got roughed up in his first two innings on the mound for the Braves, giving up four hits, five runs (three earned) while striking out six and walking three. Drake Forrest had two of their three hits, including a homer.

Trailing 6-1 entering the bottom of the fifth in the nightcap, the Braves mounted a comeback, scoring three runs to pull within 6-4. Forrest led the charge with a two-run homer, his second long ball of the day.

“He’s really been swinging the bat really nice, even in practice. I’ve really expected what he did today to happen in games,” Shea said.

Cooper Cavadeas hit a homer to start the sixth inning off of Munson, but the Braves couldn’t bring the tying run in.

“We were down 6-1 in the fifth inning and we made a little bit of a comeback. We had runners on board but couldn’t get them in,” Shea said. “It was a little too late. I’m frustrated because why did we have to wait until the fifth inning of the second game to show some life? Drake got us a little bit fired up with the home run and gave us a little bit of life.”

Jared Crow took the loss for the Braves, giving up six runs (four earned), eight walks and one hit while striking out seven over 3 2/3 innings. Riley Baldovski pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, giving up just one hit while striking out five.

Jadan Grobar pitched five innings for the Miners, giving up four runs, five hits and five walks while striking out one. Munson came on in the sixth for his second save, giving up one run and one walk.

The Miners visit Escanaba for a doubleheader Thursday, while the Braves visit Traverse City Central for a single game Friday.