Braves edge Redmen
GLADSTONE — A little bit of perseverance and last-minute work paid off for the Gladstone Braves here Wednesday night as they rallied past the Marquette Redmen 11-10 in a wild and wooly Great Northern Conference baseball game.
Tyler Darmogray scored the game-winner on a suicide squeeze bunt by Carter VanBrocklin in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Gladstone trailed 10-9 going into its half of the seventh. Ryan Polley then scored the tying run on a bunt by Trevor Hanson.
“A lot of teams stay away from the bunt, but Gladstone is noted for that,” said Braves coach Lucas LaCosse. “We had the runner at third, and Carter did a great job putting it where they couldn’t field it cleanly. Coming off the mound to cover a bunt is a lot harder than many people think. We executed both bunts real well.”
Gladstone trailed 9-6 in the fifth, then scored three times to tie the game.
Darmogray’s two-run double along the leftfield line brought the Braves within 9-8 and pinch runner Noah Peterson knotted the contest on a throwing error.
Marquette regained the lead in the sixth when Justin Wenk scored on Jacob Krauss’ bounce out to first.
“The boys played good,” said Marquette assistant coach Mark Pontti. “Gladstone has a good team. They’re well-rounded and well-coached. We’re coming around. We’re seeing a lot of promise. Our bats are starting to come around. We made a few mistakes in the field, but Gladstone did its part. They hit the ball well and played small ball.”
The Braves opened the scoring on Cam Kelly’s bloop single to shallow left and Blake Krouth scored their second run on a wild pitch in the first.
Marquette, taking advantage of three errors, scored eight times in the third.
Erik Johnson’s double got the Redmen on the board. Nate Cromell added an RBI single, and Peter VandenAvond’s two-run double gave them an 8-2 cushion.
The Braves answered with four runs in their half of the third before Redmen got one back in the fourth for a 9-6 lead.
“Those runs in the third gave us quite a bit of momentum,” said LaCosse. “The guys have been real good about not giving up. Our defense has to be tightened up. We had too many errors, although tonight we were able to overcome that.”
Nick Martin, Darmogray and Kelly had two hits each for the Braves and Johnson had a pair of the Redmen.
Darmogray took the win in relief of Dylan Pepin, who pitched 2 2/3 innings. Krauss absorbed the loss in relief of Wenk, who worked 3 1/3 frames.
“I feel bad for Justin,” said Marquette assistant coach Bill Finkbeiner. “It was a good game from the start. Both teams hit the ball well. We’re getting better with every game. We’ve come a long way in a month.”
Gladstone is idle until Tuesday when it visits Kingsford. Marquette travels to Petoskey for a pair of games Saturday.