MARQUETTE - With his Marquette Blues American Legion baseball team playing its fifth and sixth games in four days, manager Derek Swajanen turned to two young players for pitching help Tuesday.
He got it, in a big way.
Bryan Price in the first game with a 7-3 win and Luke Swajanen in the nightcap with a 8-2 triumph held the Mid-County Mavericks at bay at Haley Memorial Field.
Marquette Blues starting pitcher Bryan Price delivers during the fourth inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Mid-County Mavericks on Tuesday at Haley Memorial Field in Marquette. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
Price allowed just two hits over 5 1/3 innings of work while Luke Swajanen held the Mavericks to a single over six shutout innings.
"These young guys ... we're going to need them for the U.P.'s and the state tournament," Derek Swajanen said. "They've been logging a lot of appearances and having good outings. They're doing a good job."
Luke Swajanen, particularly, sparkled on just his second start of the season after appearing mostly in relief.
Marquette Blues 7, Mid-County 3
R H E
Mid-County210 000 0 3 2 0
Marquette Blues 103 210 x 7 5 0
WP: Bryan Price, 5,1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 3 K, 5 BB
LP: Rick Chancy, 6 IP, 7 R, 5 H, 7 K, 4 BB
Mid-County:Dillon Meyers, 2-run single
Marquette Blues: Alex Baker, solo home run; Jared Wales, RBI-triple; Adam Gannon, 2-run triple; Cody Nordquist, RBI-double
Marquette Blues 8, Mid-County 2
R H E
Mid-County 000 000 2 2 4 5
Marquette Blues 201 311 x 8 6 1
WP: Luke Swajanen, 6 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 6 K, 1 BB
LP: Arzack Brown, 4 IP, 6 R, 6 H, 2 K, 4 BB
Mid-County: Arzack Brown, RBI-single; Eddy Self, RBI- single; Eduardo Becerra, double
Marquette Blues: Spencer Larson, 2 hits, RBI, 4 stolen bases; Cody Nordquist, two hits, 2 RBI
He limited the Mavericks to a Dillon Meyers fifth-inning single while striking out six and walking just one.
"My curve ball was working," Luke Swajanen said. "I've been working on it in practice with (teammate) Adam Gannon. It showed today."
He said he wasn't aware he was tossing a no-hitter until the fifth when he overheard a teammate in the outfield yell it to another Blues player.
"The next batter (Meyers) then hit the single," he laughed.
Added manager Swajanen: "All of his pitches were working and most were around the knees. His curve was also working, with a lot of movement.
"He's only 15 and did a good job."
Mid-County manager Dan Keller, whose team is now 2-3 overall after waiting to start until the Stephenson High School baseball team ended its season, said hurler Swajanen "shut us right down."
"He had us under wraps, locked down," Brown said. "He was getting ahead of us and his off-speed pitches were effective. He threw the curve for strikes."
Cody Nordquist recorded two hits and knocked in two runs for the Blues (26-5). Teammate Spencer Larson added two hits, an RBI and four stolen bases.
"We noticed their timing (on throws) from the pitcher down to second base was slow, so we took advantage of that opportunity," Derek Swajanen said of his team's 11 swiped bases overall.
"We've also been working on getting better initial and secondary leads. It has been paying dividends."
The Mavericks' Keller said his team "needs some work" in preventing stolen bases.
"We had some trouble holding runners," he said.
Mid-County scored twice in the top of the seventh inning, with Arzack Brown and Eddy Self hitting run-scoring singles off reliever Trevor Bratonia.
In the opener, the Blues rallied from a 3-1 third-inning deficit to win. Price fanned three while walking five.
"We scratched back," Derek Swajanen said. "Bryan did a nice job and Bratonia pitched well in relief."
Alex Baker smacked a solo home run to right field, Gannon belted a two-run triple and Jared Wales hit an RBI-triple for Marquette, which scored three runs in the third and two in the fourth to take control.
Nordquist contributed a run-scoring double.
Meyers hit a two-run single for the Mavericks.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251