Early-innings surge

MARQUETTE – It didn’t take long for the Marquette Blues to get their offense going Monday night against Channing.

The Blues picked up four runs in the first inning and five in the third en route to a 10-3 win over the Railroaders in an American Legion baseball game played at Haley Memorial Field in Marquette.

Jordan Kivi earned the win on the hill after giving up one run on three hits, while teammate Trevor Bratonia had two RBIs and Riley Lynch scored twice.

“Tonight was a good night,” Blues head coach Derek Swajanen said. “We started with our core group of players and then we got some younger guys in that hadn’t thrown for us, which was nice because we don’t want to burden any arms early on.

“Jordan looked really good on the mound and Jay (Oberg) has thrown in all four of our games and he did another phenomenal job tonight throwing strikes and shutting down their best hitters.

“I also thought our hitters did a good job early on. I think we got a little lazy toward the end and sometimes when you have a big lead, that can happen. Overall though, we’re off to a great start this year at 4-0, and hopefully we can continue to play good ball.”

Lynch scored the first run in the opening inning on a fielder’s choice by Trevor Koski, while the other three runs came in by way of errors and wild pitches.

Up 4-0 in the third, Marquette continued to hit the ball well. Lynch scored on a base hit to the gap in right center by McKinley Larson, and later in the inning, Bratonia cranked a double that scored Koski, who had reached on a throwing error. Oberg also drove in a run on an infield single and the Blues led 9-0.

Channing got two runs back in the top of the fourth when Jared Miller scored on a throwing error, and Dodge Isaacson, who laced a single to center earlier, scored on a wild pitch.

Marquette plated its final run in its half of the fourth on an RBI single by Jimmy Mallos, while Channing made a short-circuited attempt at a rally in the top of the sixth, loading the bases but managing just one run on a throwing error.

“We’re really young this year, probably the youngest team we’ve had in six years, so it’s definitely a work in progress,” Railroaders head coach Rob Berg said. “We did show a little bit of life late in the game, so we’re just going to try to get better each game and maybe surprise somebody in the (league) playoffs.”

The Blues play at Kingsford Wednesday before heading to Channing for a rematch Friday.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.