Braves best Bark River-Harris

Gladstone junior Casey Alworden loads up to make a throw to first base against bark River-Harris on May 11, 2024 at Don Olsen Field in Gladstone. ("The Big Dog" Mitch Vosburg/Daily Press)

GLADSTONE –Both Gladstone and Bark River-Harris baseball had their good moments and bad moments inside the confines of Don Olsen Field on Saturday.

The Braves’ six-run explosion in the second inning proved to be the difference in a 10-6 win over the Broncos.

“It was a good, competitive game for us,” Braves coach Tyler Swanson said. “Bark River came to play. It felt like we were teetering on blowing it open, but they made a nice little comeback. “

Trailing 1-0 midway through two, the Braves began to produce quality at-bats. They also capitalized on Bronco miscues.

Cooper Sanville earned a lead-off single and Gavin Frossard drew a walk. Isaac Kethcum earned a RBI single to score Sanville and tie the game at one. Rex Kelly then nailed a ground ball to third base. The throw to first pulled Charlie Guenette off the bag to load the bases. BR-H pitcher struck out Trevor Thorbahn for the innings first out. Then Austin Pepin stepped up and dropped a sacrifice bunt.

The throw was wild. Pepin was left alone on second as three runs came to score. in what turned into a 6-1 lead at the end of the frame.

“That really turned the tide of this ballgame,” BR-H coach Al Botwright said. “Gladstone’s a heck of a ballclub. They made a few more plays than we did, and that’s the four run difference you see at the end of the game.”

Gladstone ballooned its lead to 8-1 after four innings. But the Broncos didn’t go belly up.

BR-H saw its first three batters reach base to start the fifth via walk, single and error. A wild pitch scored Ethan Ives from third, and a RBI goundout from Langtange was met with back-to-back RBI singles from Guenette and Troy Johnson. A RBI groundout from Hall shaved Gladstone’s advantage to 8-6. And after dropping both legs of a doubleheader to Norway five days earlier, Botwright was thrilled to see the Broncos rally like they did. “We learned to rise to the challenge,” Botwright said. “Things went wrong right off the bat against (Norway). We didn’t rebound, we weren’t resilient, we just took it on the chin and allowed it to happen. Today we also got down early, but we had the mental toughness and intestinal fortitude to bounce back and make this a ballgame. I was very impressed with my group for sure.”

Hall allowed six runs (four earned) off six hits with a walks and two strikeouts in three innings of work. Lantange allowed four runs (three earned) off seven hits and a pair of walks.

Johnson finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Jacob Mileski finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Guenette finished 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored. Ives finished 2-for-4.

The Broncos trip to Stephenson for a doubleheader at 5 p.m. Tuesday and host North Central for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Soderman earned the win for the Braves, allowing six runs (four earned) off eight hits with three walks and a strikeout in 4 1/3 innings of work while adding two RBI and a run scored from the plate. Sanville earned the save, striking out two in a hitless inning while also gong 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Pepin allowed one hit, walked one and fanned a Bronco in 1 2/3 innings of relief.

Kelly finished 3-for-3 with a run scored. Casey Alworden finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a stolen base. Nate Young finished 2-for-4 with a RBI, run scored and a stolen base.

The Braves hist Menominee for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, trip to Negaunee for a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Wednesday and host Marquette at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“I think there’s a lot of room for growth still,” Swanson said. “We still get in our own way at some points with mental errors. If we can play clean baseball this can be a really good team. We’re hitting the ball much better. We’re finally executing bunts, which really opens up our offensive game plan. Our pitchers have continued to do a nice job for us.

“I like where we’re at, but there’s definitely some room for growth as well.”


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