MARQUETTE -The Marquette American Legion Blues traveled to Marinette, Wis., to play in the annual Firecracker Tournament and went 1-3 on the weekend.
Marquette played the Green Bay Bluejays Friday night, losing a 2-1 decision in the bottom of the seventh.
For Marquette, Alex Lucas pitched a complete game. He gave up two earned runs, seven hits and five walks while earning six strikeouts. Marquette was led offensively by AJ Lobb who went 2-for-3 and Corey Peterman who also went 2-for-3.
On Saturday, Marquette played the eventual tournament winner, Marinette, and lost in 10 innings, 8-5. Peterman threw the complete game, giving up eight runs on nine hits and walking six while striking out two.
The game was interrupted in the ninth inning by rain and took a total of four hours to play, due to the hour and a half rain delay. Marquette had many chances to win the game as they had a runner thrown out in the bottom of the eighth and Alex Lucas got robbed of a two-run home run when the right fielder caught the ball headed for the win.
Marquette was led offensively by Isaac Underwood with a three-run home run in the first inning. Cody Nordquist also added a solo shot and Anthony Kreis went 3-for-5 with one run batted in.
In the second game on Saturday, Marquette was attempting to regroup from two tough losses and ran into a buzzsaw, as Manitowoc, Wis., scored nine in the first inning and followed it up with seven in the second, running away with a 20-1 victory.
Anthony Kreis took the loss going of an inning, allowing eight runs.
Marquette regrouped and captured an 11-6 victory over Watertown, Wis.
Adam Gannon started for Marquette, going three innings, giving up eight hits, six runs and four walks, recording one strikeout. He was relieved with the bases loaded in the fourth by Gavin Locke, who gave up no runs while striking out five, giving up two hits and no walks.
Marquette was down 5-0 in the first but battled back and was led offensively by Kreis who went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs; Isaac Underwood who was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a two-run home run; and Lobb who was 2-for-3.
Marquette had 13 hits on the game.
"I was very proud of the way the team played this weekend," said manager Derek Swajanen. "We had one bad loss, but that was attributed to the boys being emotionally spent as we lost the prior two games in the opponent's last at bat. The two teams that we lost to in the last at bat came in one and two in the tournament.
"We were by far the youngest team there and people were impressed with the way the boys played the game. Through the first two games (17 innings) we had only one error. I believe we could have easily went 3-1 on the weekend.
"Lucas, Peterman, and Locke pitched exceptional for us this weekend and kept us in every game," Swajanen added. "Last year the team went to this tournament and had little success, but I was happy with the play which is a testament to the work ethic of the team this year."
Diamonds go 1-2
The Negaunee Diamonds went one for three this weekend at the Firecracker tournament in Marinette.
In the first game the Diamonds faced the Green Bay Blue Jays and ended up losing in the bottom of the seventh, 6-5.
The Diamonds struck first in the third inning when lead off batter Jake Jandron drew a walk and was bunted over to second by Grant Ganzel. A single up the middle by Tyler Nault pushed Jandron across making it a 1-0 ballgame.
The Bluejays tied it up in the bottom of the fourth when Tony Lacaptain reached first with a single, then was driven in by a Kevin Dart double.
The Diamonds responded in the top of the fifth when Tyler DesJardins drew a walk and Nault once again rang the bell with yet another up the middle single, putting the Diamonds up 2-1.
The Bluejays just wouldn't go away however and tied it up in the bottom of the sixth.
The Diamonds pulled out all the stops in the top of the seventh and put three runs on the board, going up 5-2. Hits by Zach Uren and Nault put runners on second and third for the Diamonds with one out. A squeeze bunt by Nathan Alexander and a wild throw to first scored two runs. Brad Macario followed up with a single to right, driving Alexander home.
Once again the Bluejays rallied and came back, putting four runs across and beating the Diamonds 6-5.
Nault went 3-for-4 at the plate with Desjardins and Alexander going 2-for-3. Steve Ludlum also added a single for the Diamonds.
DesJardins had three strikeouts for the night, no walks, three hit by pitch, and gave up eight hits.
"DesJardins pitched well enough for us to win," said Diamonds manager Mike Rivord. "We just made some mental mistakes at the end the game that cost us. It was one of those games that we just should have won."
In the second game, the Diamonds faced the Watertown Shockers from Milwaukee, coming away with a 7-0 win.
Uren led the Diamonds at the plate by going 4-for-4 with a home run while Jandron and Ludlum both went 2-for-4.
Rudy Goupille, Ganzel and DesJardins added hits to help the Diamonds cause.
Jandron was credited with the win. He had seven strikeouts, three walks and gave up two hits.
"Jake pitched a solid game, he kept them off balance with off speed pitches and was supported by solid defense," Rivord said. "As a result he had a two-hit shut out."
"That is the kind of performance we expect from Jake."
The Diamonds dropped their final game to Manitowoc, 12-6.
The Diamonds scored in the top of the first when Ganzel drew a walk and then was driven in by a Nault single.
Manitowoc responded with a vengeance in the bottom of the first with a leadoff single followed by back to back home runs.
After a scoreless second inning by the Diamonds, Manitowoc came out swinging and once again put back to back home runs on the board, making it a 6-1 ballgame.
The Diamonds staged a comeback when Ganzel led off in the top of the sixth with a single followed by a Nault walk. A single by Tyler Biakowski scored Ganzel and put Nault on third.
Nault then scored the second run of the inning on a grounder to first by Nate Alexander. The hitting continued as a deep double to center by Macario scored Biakowski, making it a 9-5 ballgame and bringing the Diamonds to within four.
Manitowoc wouldn't go away easily and scored three more in the bottom of the sixth. The Diamonds last chance in the seventh fell short as they were only able to produce one run on Jandron walk that was driven in by a Uren single.
"Our defense played well for most of the weekend," Rivord said. "But our pitchers need to work a lot harder. They take their baseball serious down here and you have to bring your A game every time you come to the field. Overall it was a good weekend and a great experience for our players."
Macario was credited with the loss for the Diamonds. He faced eight batters and gave up three runs on four hits while striking out one.
Ganzel came in for relief in the second and faced 20 batters, giving up six runs on five hits. He struck out one, walked seven, and hit one batter with a wild pitch.
Jandron relieved Ganzel in the sixth and faced seven batters, giving up three runs on three hits.