Indians shut out Flames

GLADSTONE — The Gladstone Indians American Legion baseball team shut out the Copper Country Flames 8-0 in five innings here Saturday, but was unable to make the cut for the Gregg Johnson-Al Erickson Memorial tournament semifinals.

“I think we accomplished a lot, even though the record might not say that,” Indians’ manager Justin Jurek said. “I think we accomplished a lot of what we wanted to accomplish, especially with this being our first four games of the season and our first week together.”

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third.

An error and a hit batter set the stage for Gladstone’s Dan Martin to single and score Carson Shea. Following a walk, Caden Alworden singled on a bunt and scored Cooper Cavadeas to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

The Indians added four more in the bottom of the fourth. A walk, hit batter and line drive single from Cavadeas loaded the bases. Martin took the opportunity and drove Ian Schwalbach and Shea in on a double to the fence. Jared Crow then dropped down a bunt single to score Cavadeas and Martin to increase Gladstone’s lead to 6-0.

“I think the biggest difference between today and our last three games is that we played clean defensively,” Jurek said. “We made all the routine plays, and that was pretty much the difference between us today and us in the last three games.”

The Indians (2-2) tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth to round out the scoring.

“We enjoy hosting the tournament and everything else, and we always have great competition coming up,” Jurek said. “It’s fun, but other than that, there’s a lot of things we can take away from this tournament, on the good and bad side.”

Flames’ manager Andy Crouch looked at the weekend as a valuable experience for a young team.

“We got two kids who are 17, and the rest of them are 15,” he said. “We have a bunch of young kids, and this weekend we played some good teams.

“This one didn’t go very well for us, but we played pretty hard and battled. We also won a game against Marquette, so these young kids are really playing their tails off. The future’s good for Post 186.”

Ben Kelly earned the win over five innings, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out two. Martin led the offense with four RBIs, three hits and a run scored. Parker Frappier collected two hits and one RBI, and Crow notched two RBIs. Cavadeas collected two hits and two runs while Alworden finished with one hit and one RBI.

Nick Horning took the loss for the Flames over four innings, striking out five and allowing six hits, three walks and six runs (four earned). Eli Oldt pitched one inning in relief, allowing two hits, one walk and two runs. Red Heathman, Isaac Bennett and Oldt all finished with one hit.

Gladstone hosts Marquette Tuesday.