Blues post 2 shutouts at Kingsford

KINGSFORD – The Marquette Blues maintained a perfect record while the Kingsford Blues remained winless after their American Legion baseball game played Wednesday in Kingsford.

With Riley Lynch and McKinley Larson throwing shutouts, Marquette swept Kingsford in the doubleheader, 10-0 in five innings and 4-0, at Lodal Park’s Gary Spigarelli Field.

“It showed we could win two different ways,” Marquette manager Derek Swajanen said. “The first game we pounded the ball. The second game we did a great job defensively.”

While Marquette improved to 6-0 on the season, Kingsford slipped to 0-5.

“Baby steps,” first-year Kingsford manager John Linn said. “We’re close and we’re going to win some games. We’ll get it together. This was only our third league game.”

In the opener, Lynch tossed a two-hitter with five strikeouts and two walks. Twelve hits and four Kingsford errors also boosted the visitors.

“Riley pitched to contact and we had 12 solid hits,” Swajanen said. “The key was Riley keeping them off base and we played great defense behind him.”

Marquette plated two runs in the first inning and three in the second for a 5-0 cushion.

Trevor Koski doubled among his three hits and knocked in three runs. Hunter Larson added two hits and an RBI, Brandon Lotterman knocked in two runs, and Lynch helped his cause by scoring three times.

Justin Grailer singled twice for Kingsford in first game. Daniel Harrington and Brett Swanson did the pitching.

“The score was ugly but I did see good things,” Linn said.

In the second game, Marquette tallied a run in the fourth inning and broke it open with three in the sixth.

Marquette picked off three baserunners to stymie Kingsford threats.

“That’s just smart baseball,” Swajanen said of the defense. “We played small ball. We played the bunt defense correctly.

“We’re just six games into the season but I think the coaches have done a great job teaching fundamentals and it paid off in that game.”

Linn could only hope his team’s base-running woes ended Wednesday.

“That’s just rally kill,” he said. “That can’t happen.”

In Marquette’s three-run sixth, Hunter Larson and Lynch delivered back-to-back run-scoring singles. Lynch had two hits in the game.

“Riley did a great job for us,” Swajanen said.

McKinley Larson limited Kingsford to six hits with six strikeouts and two walks. John Edwardsen, who helped Norway win an MHSAA Division 4 district title, scattered five hits over six innings. The southpaw allowed one earned run, whiffed seven, walked two and hit two batters.

“Johnny Edwardsen threw lights-out,” said the Kingsford mentor, adding that reliever Joe Linn finished well with two strikeouts.

Kingsford’s Wes Paupore registered a pair of hits while Grailer and Anthony Ribera each doubled.

“We’re hitting better than we have been,” Linn said. “The second game I thought the bats came alive. We had our opportunities.

“That’s a good team over there. One-through-nine Marquette can hit the ball. I thought we battled with them in the second game.”

On Friday, Marquette visits Channing.