Indians, Warriors settle for tie in nightcap after rain

GLADSTONE – The Gladstone Indians and Newberry Warriors were fit to be tied Wednesday night as Mother Nature dictated the outcome of the second game of an American Legion baseball doubleheader.

Rain and lightning moved into the area after the sixth inning, forcing the teams to settle for a 2-2 tie.

The Indians (14-10-1) won the opener 4-3 on Jake Peterson’s two-out single to centerfield in the sixth.

Both teams, which are entered in this weekend’s Newberry Invitational tournament, agreed to play six-inning games in this twinbill.

Gladstone gained a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning of the nightcap on Justin Jurek’s single to leftfield.

“We felt we had some momentum going after we had taken the two-run lead,” said Indians’ manager Jim Groleau. “One big error in the fifth is what cost us. We didn’t play with any intensity at all. It seems like when we play anybody other than a rival or outside of a tournament, we come out with no intensity.”

Newberry (2-4-1) loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth. Mitchell Austin scored its first run on Dustin Brown’s one-out bunt single on a suicide squeeze.

Dakota Zuhlke, who reached on the error, then tied the count on Kyle Welty’s sacrifice fly to center.

The Indians opened the scoring in the first on Cody Frazer’s single to left.

Frazier finished with five hits in the twinbill, going 3-for-3 in the opener.

Lucas LaCosse took the win in Game 1, striking out six, walking one, hitting two batters and allowing seven hits.

Peterson then tossed a two-hitter, fanned four and walked two in the second game.

“Cody hit the ball hard, and Lucas and Jake pitched well enough for us to win two,” said Groleau. “We just need to come out with more intensity, plain and simple.”

Peterson and Christian Tackman led Gladstone with two hits apiece in the first game. Welty went 2-for-2 and Jagger McUdden had two hits for Newberry, which played for the first time in two weeks.

“This is the first time all season we showed up with more than nine players,” said Newberry manager Matt Edison. “Their lefty (Peterson) threw a nice curve and had us tied up. Plus, our timing was off at the plate. We didn’t hit at all the way we’re capable.”

Newberry took a 3-2 lead in the top in the sixth when Ian Stokes got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing the go-ahead run to cross the plate.

Hunter Garling tied the score on a throwing error in Gladstone’s half of the sixth, setting the stage for Peterson’s game-winning single.

Tackman opened the scoring on a fielder’s choice in the first.

Welty’s double forced a 1-1 tie in the third and Mitchell Edison gave Newberry a 2-1 lead on a fielder’s choice.

Frazer then ripped a double in the bottom of the third, tying the count at 2.

McUdden, a Division 4 all-state pitcher for Newberry High School this spring, absorbed the loss. He whiffed seven, walked two, hit two batters and surrendered nine hits.

“Jagger pitched real well and mentally we were making the right plays on defense,” said manager Edison. “With our No. 1 pitcher, we can hang with anybody. We’ve had a few games rained out and had to cancel a couple more because we didn’t have enough players. We were just glad to get on the field before our tournament, and tonight was a good, competitive warm-up.”

Zuhlke, who pitched the nightcap, struck out four, walked one, hit a batter and scattered five hits.

Gladstone faces Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Saturday at 8:30 a.m., then face the host Warriors at 12:30 in the Newberry tourney.