Gladstone bows out 7-5 to Madison Heights Bishop Foley in Division 3 baseball semifinals


Escanaba Daily Press

EAST LANSING — The storybook ending didn’t materialize for Gladstone baseball coach Don Lauscher on Friday.

He coached his 209th and final game for the Braves on Friday, which saw them lose to Madison Heights Bishop Foley 7-5 in a Division 3 semifinal at Michigan State University.

“It’s time,” he said at a postgame press conference. “I’ve been (coaching) a long, long time, and we were hoping to end it on a better note. But to be in the semifinals three times out of the six years of existence for Gladstone baseball, I’m pretty proud of that.”

The Ventures (19-17-1) made sure of that with timely hitting and a strong pitching performance by Ethan Hoffman, who allowed two hits in six innings.

Foley got on the board early, scoring single runs in the first and second before chasing Braves’ starter Clay Cole during a three-run third for a 5-0 lead.

GHS (32-5) did what it could to keep pressure on Hoffman, who walked six, but didn’t score until the fifth.

It wasn’t until Hoffman gave way to Braden Mussat in the seventh that Gladstone’s offense finally found its footing.

The Braves scored four times in the frame, thanks in part to three hit batsmen, a wild pitch and a two-run single by Ben Kelly that got Gladstone as close as it would get.