Walk-off win

Gwinn scores 8-7 victory over Negaunee in opening Oldtimers game of summer

Gwinn’s DJ Erickson bats against Gwinn during the Oldtimers softball game Thursday afternoon, July 27, 2017, at the Forsyth Township Ballfield Complex in Gwinn. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

GWINN — Henry St. Aubin knocked in the tying run and walk-off winning run to lead Gwinn past Negaunee 8-7 in an Oldtimers softball game played Thursday night at the Forsyth Township Ball Field in Gwinn.

He said playing baseball at his age is a good time to be had by all.

“I’m 78; I’m glad I’m out here,” St. Aubin said. “Can’t say any more than that I guess.”

Gwinn was down 7-5 going into the bottom of the seventh inning before a two-out error loaded the bases. Jim Ghiardi singled in a run before St. Aubin hit his game-ending single.

Negaunee still leads the all-time series 7-5 with Gwinn getting a shot at a sweep at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 10, at LaCombe Field in Negaunee.

While St. Aubin had the game-winning hit, he also talked about the long odds his team faced.

“We came in as kind of the underdogs and have only had two practices,” he said. “We got together, played some good ball, had a few errors, but everybody does. We did a good job and we won one.”

Negaunee manager Roland “Foo” Koski said it was a well-played contest.

“We had a good game, we just got beat,” Koski said. “They (Gwinn) had the key hit in the last inning and deserved to win.”

Koski added that he appreciates the support from local fans for these games featuring players all ages 62 years and older.

“I’m glad that people come out to watch the old timers every year,” Koski said. “Every year we get older but we still have fun; we can’t run anymore or catch the ball, but we try.”

Negaunee had 16 hits in the contest to just 10 for Gwinn despite the final score.

Ghiardi downplayed the victory in favor of the enjoyment of just playing.

“We do this to have fun,” Ghiardi said. “We always have a good time playing each other and it’s fun at our age being able to play.”

Ghiardi went 2 for 4 on the day. St. Aubin, Dan Fleury and Jim Winkler each had two RBIs for Gwinn.

Dave Derwin picked up the pitching victory for Gwinn, allowing just one earned run on 10 hits. Fred Allen started for Negaunee and went five innings, giving up five runs — four earned — on eight hits as Gary Anderson came on in relief and was tagged with the loss.

Negaunee’s Gary Anderson was the top hitter of the day, going 3 for 3 as teammates Don Williams, Reuven Romback, Don Trudell and Mike Nelson each were 2 for 3.

Before the rematch of these teams, Negaunee will host Marquette at 3 p.m. Thursday at LaCombe. They were originally set to play the day after the Fourth of July, but was called off despite a rainless day because of heavy storms forecasted.

Ghiardi added that it was a great game considering last year’s results against Negaunee.

“They (Negaunee) beat us twice last year, but really if we win that’s fine and if we lose that’s fine,” he said. “It’s the camaraderie, it’s fun to play, it’s sportsmanship.

“If nobody gets injured and has a good time, that’s what it’s all about.”

Email Ryan Spitza at sports@miningjournal.net.