Negaunee Blasters advance to semifinals of Superiorland Baseball League playoffs

NEGAUNEE — The Negaunee Blasters advanced out of the play-in game for the Superiorland Baseball League playoffs with a 9-5 victory over Jill Leonard-State Farm on Sunday at the Irontown Field in Negaunee.

The Blasters earned the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and play in the final four of the event in Channing against the host and top-seeded Railroaders on Saturday.

The No. 2 Marquette County Mavericks face No. 3 Coldwell Banker-Craig Heinonen at 11 a.m. EDT to kick things off Saturday, followed immediately by the Blasters-Channing game. The championship game will be played after that.

On Sunday, Leonard-State Farm opened the scoring in the top of the first inning when Ben Murphy, who singled, scored on a single by Adam Ortman.

The lead was short-lived as Negaunee plated three runs in the bottom of the inning. James Bender and Tyler O’Connor hit doubles, with Tayler Laurin sacrificing between them to score Bender. O’Connor came home on a Julian Hornback sacrifice fly.

The Blasters added another run in the third and four more in the fourth for an 8-1 lead, while JLSF rallied for four in the fifth but fell short by leaving the tying run at home plate with the bases loaded in the seventh.

Bender finished 2 for 4 with two doubles, while O’Connor was 2 for 3 with a double and was hit by a pitch.

State Farm’s Murphy was 2 for 2 with two runs scored and a walk.

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