Marquette Blues start fast with 11-4 win over Eastern U.P. Travelers in Zone 5 American Legion baseball tournament

ESCANABA — Led by three-hit nights from Hunter Doucette and Jakob Peterson, the Marquette Blues got off to a fast start in the American Legion baseball Zone 5 tournament on Thursday evening.

The Blues defeated the Eastern Upper Peninsula Travelers 11-4, their first of three games to be played in the Escanaba Division of the opening round of the tourney.

Marquette plays its final two games of qualifying today, facing the host Escanaba Cubs at 2 p.m. and rival Negaunee Diamonds at 5 p.m.

With three of the eight teams in the event advancing to the Class A state tourney next week, Marquette needs to finish first or second in its four-team division to advance to Saturday’s semifinal and championship rounds.

On Thursday, the Blues strung together three straight two-run innings to take a 7-0 lead in the middle of the fifth.

They added four insurance runs in the top of the seventh, which came in handy after the Travelers answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Doucette’s three hits were all doubles as he knocked in two runs and scored one himself. With three singles, Peterson also collected two RBIs, scoring twice and drawing a walk too.

Teammates Tyler Delmont, who doubled, and Connor Steer added two hits apiece to Marquette’s 15-hit attack. Delmont also had two RBIs as he and Steer each scored a run.

And Jon Jason, despite just one hit, scored three times and had two RBIs as he was hit by a pitch.

They took the pressure off winning pitcher Garrett Finkbeiner, who started and went six innings, allowing just one unearned run on four hits and three walks as he struck out seven.

Jake Allard-Soucey mopped up in the seventh, allowing three earned runs on two hits and two walks as he fanned one.

Losing hurler Matt Bush started and went five innings, giving up seven runs — six earned — on 11 hits and four walks. Cole Besteman and Dalton Graham finished on the mound for EUP.

Six Travelers each had a single as James Storey also had two RBIs.

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