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Marquette Reds pull off rousing comeback, Marquette Blues win big

IRON MOUNTAIN — It may take a lot to top the Marquette Reds’ opening game at the Upper Peninsula Junior Baseball League Tournament played in Iron Mountain on Thursday.

Luke Mead doubled on a 1-0 count in the bottom of the eighth inning to knock in the tying and winning runs of the Reds’ 10-9 victory over Bark River-Harris.

The Marquette team scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie it 8-8 and force extra innings before Bark River plated two runs in the top of the eighth.

The Reds collected 19 hits while Bark River had 16.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Reds’ Braiden Noskey hit a two-run single with an 0-1 count to tie the game. In the top of the inning, four Bark River players had RBIs in their five-run rally.

Five pitchers — Logan Peterson, Mead, Nick Pantti, Zack Bukowski and Paavo Mannisto — worked on the mound for the Reds, accumulating 10 strikeouts but 18 walks as they gave up the 16 hits and 10 runs, nine earned. Peterson, the starter, went 2 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and five walks with a single K.

Bukowski, Mannisto and Peterson each went 3 for 4 at the plate while Mead was 3 for 5 for Marquette, with Mannisto getting a triple, two runs and a whopping five stolen bases, Mead two doubles, two RBIs, two runs and a stolen base, and Bukowski an RBI, three runs and two stolen bases.

In addition, Pantti was 2 for 4 with an RBI, a run, two walks and a stolen base, while Dallas Cobe was 1 for 2 with a double, an RBI, two runs, three walks and two stolen bases.

Also helping the Reds was no errors committed in the field, Cobe leading the way with nine chances.

After being scheduled to play a pair of games against the Escanaba and Menominee junior teams on Friday, the semifinals and championship were set for 11 a.m. EDT and 4 p.m. EDT, respectively, today.

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Marquette Blues 15, Copper Country Flames 3

At Haley Memorial Field in Marquette on Thursday, Brendan Kaski went 3 for 3 with a double and five RBIs as the Blues scored all their runs in the first three innings of a game shortened to five innings due to the 10-run rule against Copper Country.

Kaski doubled in the first inning before adding singles in the second and third, each producing runs.

Erik Johnson went all five innings to get the pitching victory for Marquette, allowing three earned runs on three hits and four walks as he struck out seven.

After spotting the Hancock-based team three runs in the top of the first, the Blues roared back with six runs in their half of the inning, getting RBI hits by Kaski, Kyle Frusti and Connor Steer.

Among the Blues’ 12 hits were two each by Johnson, Frusti and Brockton Taylor, including a double by Frusti. Frusti also had two RBIs, three runs scored and a walk; Johnson a run, hit-by-pitch and stolen base; and Taylor three runs scored.

Teammate Blake Henriksen had a double, two RBIs, a run and two walks; while Steer had a hit, two RBIs, two runs, a hit-by-pitch and stolen base. And just for good measure, Peter VandenAvond didn’t get a hit but scored a run as he walked three times, was hit by a pitch and stole two bases.

The Blues play a trio of games on the road this weekend, playing a doubleheader at 4 p.m. today at Sault Ste. Marie, then staying there for another game against Petoskey at 1 p.m. Sunday. They also have a twinbill set in Bark River at 6 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

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

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