Legion baseball: Indians run win streak to nine games

GLADSTONE – Hunter Garling made life difficult for opposing hitters Tuesday night as the Gladstone Indians needed only five innings to post a 10-0 American Legion baseball victory over the Channing Railroaders in the second game of a doubleheader.

The Indians (11-7), who have now won nine straight, also took the opener 7-4.

Garling fired a two-hitter, struck out five and walked one in the nightcap.

“Hunter threw the ball extremely well,” said Gladstone manager Jim Groleau. “He kept the ball low in the strike zone, and they had a hard time hitting him.”

The Indians backed Garling’s effort by collecting 11 hits. Four of those came from the bottom of their lineup with Jake Peterson and James Capodilupo each going 2-for-2 and drawing a walk.

“James got a couple key hits and Jake puts the bat on the ball just about everytime,” said Groleau. “It’s nice when you have guys in the bottom of the order who can put the bat on the ball. Overall, we’re swinging the bat real well right now.”

Cody Frazier and Jake Pearson also had two hits apiece. Frazier’s single to rightfield in the third gave Gladstone a 2-0 lead and Pearson added an RBI single to center for a 3-0 cushion.

The Indians, taking advantage of an error, a hit batsman and a walk, added five runs on four hits in the fourth and scored twice in the fifth. The game ended on Frazier’s single to center.

Pearson scored Gladstone’s first run on a wild pitch in the second.

Logan O’Neil, the first of three Channing pitchers, absorbed the loss. He fanned three, walked one, hit two batters and allowed six runs on five hits through three innings. Noah Berg relieved with the bases loaded and nobody out in the fourth.

The Railroaders (8-5) committed all three errors in the contest.

In the opener, the Indians led 5-4 after 5 1/2 innings but scored twice by taking advantage of two miscues in the sixth.

Gladstone led 5-1 after five, but committed four errors in the top of the sixth as the Railroaders closed within a run.

A two-run triple by Frazier snapped a 1-1 tie in the third and the Indians gained their four-run advantage by taking advantage of two miscues in the fourth.

“We didn’t come out with any intensity,” said Groleau. “Luckily, Justin (Jurek) threw well enough to keep us in the game. We’re just happy to come out of here with a couple wins. This keeps us right in the thick of the league (title) race.”

Jurek worked six innings and threw 120 pitches for the win. He whiffed 14 and walked four.

Cody Berg went the distance and absorbed the loss, striking out five and walking six. Christian Groleau relieved in the seventh and got the save.

“We usually get one good game (in twinbills),” said Channing manager Rob Berg. “We have a good team, only our pitching isn’t real deep. When Cody’s on, we can compete with anybody. One thing that has hurt us is Cole Grenier left the team and is now playing in Appleton (Wis.). He was just a good all-around player. We also had kids missing tonight for various reasons.

“Offensively, we’ve struggled to hit the ball all year and tonight we had some silly errors, that in my eyes, cost us the game. Although, that’s not to take anything away from Gladstone. Their kids hit the ball well tonight.”

One miscue took place in the fourth when several Channing players, thinking they had recorded the third out, started walking off the field. In reality, there were only two out, and the Indians scored for the fifth time in the contest.

Gladstone resumes Friday, hosting the Eastern U.P. Travelers and Petoskey on the opening night of the Gregg Johnson Memorial tournament. Channing visits Marquette Blue for a twinbill tonight.