Marquette Blues notch two wins at Rebel Invitational

RHINELANDER, Wis. — The Marquette Blues may have left the state this weekend, but they made the Upper Peninsula proud as they notched two victories Saturday at the Rebel Invitational.

Marquette defeated the Copper Country Flames 5-4 and then topped Clintonville (Wis.) 4-3 in the nightcap.

“We did a great job today and we improved to 6-2,” Blues head coach Derek Swajanen said. “It was a tough nail-biter with Copper Country, but (pitcher) Kyle (Frusti) did a really nice job. That Clintonville team is really solid. (Pitcher) Blake (Henriksen) wasn’t overpowering, but he did well.

“We didn’t get many hits, but they came at opportune times and we had no errors in the second game. We played really solid defense. We gave up three runs in the first inning of the first game, but other than that, the last 13 innings of the day went well.”

In the first game, the Flames got on the scoreboard first with three runs in the top of the first inning. However, the Blues answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame.

With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the second, Marquette took the lead with a run and then added another in the third to make the score 5-3.

CC tried to rally in the fifth, plating a run to cut its deficit to one, but that’s all the Flames could manage.

Frusti got the win on the mound for the Blues, giving up four runs on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts in four innings of work.

Marquette was led at the plate by Henriksen, who went 1 for 2 with two RBI, while Hunter Doucette had a double, an RBI and a run scored. Connor Steer added two hits and an RBI for the Blues and Peter VandenAvond went 1 for 3 with two runs scored.

Brandon Norkol had three hits, three RBI and a run scored for the Flames, while Carter Crouch had a double and a run scored.

In the second game, it was the Blues who struck first as they plated three runs in the top of the second. Marquette padded its lead to 4-0 with a run in the third and held Clintonville scoreless until the bottom of the sixth.

That’s when Clintonville started to find its grove as it pushed across three runs to trim the Blues’ advantage to one, but Marquette held on to get the victory.

Henriksen picked up the win for the Blues, surrendering three runs on four hits with four walks and six strikeouts in five and two-thirds innings. Jakob Peterson went 1 for 4 for Marquette with two RBI, while Doucette had a double and a run scored.

The Blues finish off the Invite with a game against Everest (Wis.) at noon EDT and they’ll follow that with a game against Rhinelander at 4 p.m. EDT.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.