Marquette County Mavericks lose 3-2 at Stanton in Upper Peninsula baseball challenge

LIMINGA — The Marquette County Mavericks lost 3-2 to Superior National Bank Stanton on Saturday in a matchup of the best teams from two Upper Peninsula adult baseball leagues.

Playing on a sweltering 90-degree day, the nine-inning game was recently conceived as a way to match up the top of the first-year Superiorland Baseball League — with the Mavericks as their representative after winning the playoff championship — against the best of the long-standing Twilight League from the Copper Country.

Played at Stanton’s field west of Houghton, the home team’s Daron Durocher scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. After Durocher walked, teammate Justin Kirby singled and Durocher came home on a fielding error.

But the Mavericks opened the scoring in their first at-bat when James Larsen II hit a leadoff double and scored on Grant Johnson’s single to right center. Johnson later scored to make it 2-0.

Durocher led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, taking second on a wild pitch and scoring on Tyler Ladurn’s single to right. Ladurn later scored to tie it 2-2.

The starting pitchers settled down after that. The Mavs’ Steve Hintsala went 4 2/3 innings after allowing two earned runs, three hits and two walks while striking out five. Preston Hutchens took over on the mound and ended a fifth-inning threat.

After the home Wildcats scored their third run, MCM threatened in the top of the eighth with Johnson walking and Aaron Adriano singling with one out. But they were left stranded and the Mavs’ three batters all struck out in the ninth to end it.

The Mavericks’ stars come from a number of different teams, Larsen and Hutchens played for the Tri-City Northstars of the now-defunct Wishigan League, as Hutchens is also a former Marquette Blues player in the American Legion. Johnson is an ex-Negaunee High School player, while Hintsala and Adriano used to play for the Ishpeming Blue Storm in Legion ball.

Larsen finished 2 for 3 with a walk as the Mavericks totaled just four hits. Durocher walked three times for Stanton.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.