Gladstone baseball wins, set to host regional Weds.

Todd Rose | Daily Press The Gladstone baseball team poses with its MHSAA Division 3 District 66 Championship trophy after defeating Newberry Friday in Gladstone.

GLADSTONE — A hometown district brought the Gladstone Braves a district championship Friday evening as they defeated the Newberry Indians 15-0 after three innings in the MHSAA Division 2 District 66 Championship game in Gladstone.

Braves coach Joe Darmogray summed up the championship with one word, “Awesome.”

After defeating the Superior Central Cougars in the semifinals, coach Darmogray relayed the message to his team to not let their guard down, especially as they watched the second game that saw Newberry get the upset win over the Menominee Maroons.

“My biggest thing was I didn’t want them to get lackadaisical sitting here for a couple hours,” he said. “We fully expected Menominee to win. They had a pretty tough team when we played them and didn’t know much about Newberry. But, Newberry pulled it out and played really well against Menominee.

I just wanted my kids to not sit back and be lackadaisical. I told them to come out, and they told me when they did the coin flip that they wanted to hit first. I told them, ‘You win it. You do it. Let’s go.'”

Pitching for the Braves was Brennan Detiege, a junior, who almost had his baseball season ended when his hand was accidentally injured in machinery away from the field. The injury required stitches and kept him out of action for several games.

“It was hard,” said Detiege of the comeback. “(My fingers) were pretty much smashed. It was lots of pain, and I just had to work through it and do what I could.”

After working through the pain, Detiege noted that he doesn’t feel any sense of hesitation when fielding any balls coming in his direction on the mound.

As far as the win is concerned, it all came down to his team backing up his solid pitching.

“The team played well, and we hit well,” he said. “Their pitchers were a little bit slower than we’re used to, so we had to adjust. But, we adjusted quick. It was fun. I pitched well, and we played well.”

And for Detiege, ‘fun’ is his main goal on the field.

“I just go out there and have fun,” he said. “That’s my biggest thing, having fun.”

Detiege ended the game with three straight strikeouts in the third inning. He had six total in the three-inning contest, with three hits given up and zero walks.

Rex Kelly, Cam Kelly, Braden Sundquist and John Soderman each had two hits in the game, while Noah Peterson put on quite the show as he stretched a double to home plate to score after an error at home. The play brought in Cam Kelly as well as Casey Alworden for three total runs.

The baseball district win came a few hours after the Braves softball squad wrapped up their district championship a couple miles away.

“Two great programs. It was nice that the girls came over to watch the boys play,” said coach Darmogray. “They haven’t been able to watch. It seems like every game we play this year is at the same time. It’s awesome and good for both programs.”

For a young and inexperienced Newberry team, the district finals appearance came as a bit of a surprise to many.

“I’m really impressed with the first game. It’s been a rough season. I think we were 5-21 coming in,” said Newberry coach Dan Hardenbrook. “But, we’ve been getting better. I think 14 of our 20 players on our rosters had never played before, and I think we’ve got nine first-year seniors. So, they’ve been learning on the fly, and they kind of peaked at the right time today.

“We’ve been talking all year about putting all the pieces together on the right day, and game one, we showed up and picked the right day to have it. We just ran into a little bit of a wall there in the second game. I think we used up so much emotion, so much energy with as tough as the season has been.”

With regionals ahead, the plan for the Braves is simple.

“Just keep playing like we’re playing, keep practicing like we’re practicing, work on the small fundamental things that we need to work on and take it from there,” said coach Darmogray.


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