Bucs upset Gladstone
Indians host Copper Country today in semis
GLADSTONE — With a berth in the American Legion Class A state baseball tournament already out of reach, the Bark River Bucs settled for the next best thing here Friday night.
The Bucs, fueled by a five-run third inning, concluded their season with a 6-4 victory over the Gladstone Indians in the zone tournament.
Among Bark River’s highlights was Mason Korhonen’s first career home run, a three-run shot to left field for a 6-2 lead in the third.
“What a time for him to get it,” said Bucs’ manager Matt Richer. “That really gave us a spark. That was the difference right there. This was the last Legion game for some of our guys. I’m so proud of the guys and happy for them. If only we could have played relaxed like we do against Gladstone and Escanaba.”
Gladstone is hosting Copper Country in a semifinal contest today at 11:30 a.m., with Menominee facing Marquette in another semifinal at noon at Esky. The third place game takes place at 3:30, with the championship contest at 4.
Nick Javurek scored Bark River’s first run on Wyatt Riley’s double-play ball (line shot to second), which was snagged by Carson Shea in the second frame.
Gladstone, taking advantage of two errors and three walks, scored twice for a 2-1 lead in its half of the second.
Bark River then took the lead for good by collecting five hits in the third.
“They hit the ball well,” said Indians’ manager Justin Jurek. “They just outhit us and their pitcher (Korhonen) pitched a good game. We hit a lot of pop-ups.”
Korhonen, who worked 6 2/3 innings before reaching his pitch count limit, struck out seven, walked three, hit two batters and scattered four hits. Javurek faced the final two hitters and got the save.
“Mason threw strikes and our defense played well behind him,” said Richer. “We were disciplined at the plate and made Ben Kelly throw strikes. Gladstone is always fun to play. They’re a top-notch team with quality coaches and quality kids.”
Kelly, who pitched the entire contest, fanned seven, walked two and gave up eight hits.
“Ben threw real well, only they got to him in that one inning,” said Jurek. “Our defense played well. We had opportunities, but didn’t execute.”
Korhonen, Javurek and John Robinette had two hits each for the Bucs. Ian Schwalbach had a pair of hits, including an RBI single to left, for the Indians.
Gladstone catcher Cooper Cavadeas left the contest with a hand injury in the second and is questionable for today.
Earlier, Cavadeas went 3-for-3 in Gladstone’s 3-0 triumph over Menominee. Alex Hansen had two hits for the Red Wave.
Negaunee scored five times in the first two innings in its 5-3 victory over Bark River.
Bark River committed three errors, all in the opening frame.
Zach Englund led Bark River with two hits and was thrown out at the plate for the final out. Sam Hall scored twice for the Bucs, who trailed 5-1 prior to their final at-bats.
“We had kind of a rough break at the end, but I think our comeback gave us momentum for this game,” said Richer. “We started squaring up on the ball.”
Carter Richardson walked four times and scored twice for Negaunee, which scored twice in the first and three times in the second.