Negaunee baseball team closing gap on powerhouse Gladstone

NEGAUNEE — The Gladstone Braves are considered by many to be one of the best baseball teams in the Upper Peninsula and they showed it Wednesday afternoon in a doubleheader sweep of Negaunee.

The Braves topped the Miners 6-2 in the opening game before getting their bats going in the nightcap for a 10-1 victory.

Even though his team lost both games, Negaunee head coach Jason Siik was feeling positive about his squad and said his team has made a lot of progress since it first faced Gladstone.

“The first two times, I think we lost 18-1 and 10-0, so that was only six innings,” he said. “Since then, we are much improved. Our focus is better. Their are fewer errors. Our pitching has been better and our confidence is building.

“We also have been hitting the ball well and our team batting average is over .300. The kids are coachable, too, and they want to be winners. We started the year 0-9 and now I think we’ve gotten our legs underneath us.

“I’m feeling good right now. Gladstone is one of the better programs up here, so it’s good for our kids to be competitive in a game against them.”

In the opener, the Braves plated three runs in the first inning, but the Miners (5-11) rallied in the third when Jacob Ennett hit a single that scored Alex Munson and Jake Hill to pull Negaunee within 3-2.

But Gladstone wasn’t deterred as it tallied another three runs in fifth and held on for the victory.

The Braves were led by Jared Crow, who went 2 for 3 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Carson Shea earned the win for the Braves after giving up seven hits and two walks while striking out six.

Tanner Peterson was tagged with the loss for Negaunee with nine hits and three walks given up as he fanned one.

The nightcap was close through three innings. Up 2-0 to start the fourth, Gladstone knocked in five runs to break the game open, then scored three more over the next two innings to close out the win. Joseph Mallett scored Negaunee’s only run in the bottom of the fifth.

Owen Hanson went 2 for 4 for the Braves, while Braeden Lamberg had a single and two runs scored.

Cooper Cavadeas got the win on the mound for Gladstone after giving up one run on four hits in 3 2/3 innings. He also had four strikeouts and one walk.

Eric Anderson was dealt the loss for Negaunee after giving up seven runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings. He had one strikeout and two walks.

The Miners travel to Marquette for a doubleheader Monday.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.