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Menominee pulls off 9-8 win over Gladstone for Upper Peninsula baseball league tournament title

IRON MOUNTAIN — It was fun while it lasted.

Gladstone’s championship run ended here Saturday in a 7-6 loss to Menominee in the championship game of the Upper Peninsula Under-19 Baseball League tournament.

“Overall it was a good game,” Gladstone manager Justin Jurek said. “One bad inning did us in, but the kids kept battling all year.”

In semifinals played earlier that afternoon, Gladstone edged the Marquette Blues 4-3 while Menominee snuck by Iron Mountain 9-8.

Gladstone, the three-time defending American Legion Class A state champs, had baserunners on second and third with one out in the seventh inning of the title game before Menominee relief pitcher Hunter Goldschmidt retired two of the three hitters he faced.

“I’ve been coaching for 43 years (including six as manager) and this is our first U.P. championship while I’ve been here,” Menominee skipper John Lauzer said. “For us to win it in a COVID(-19) year is phenomenal. We kept praying every day that we could play every day and keep it safe.”

The Indians (15-6) led 4-2 after five innings, then committed three errors in the sixth as the Red Wave (25-4) scored five times for a 7-4 advantage.

Catcher Braeden McMahon’s single to left field trimmed Menominee’s deficit to 4-3, then the Maroons took advantage of Indians’ miscues and back-to-back bases-loaded walks prior to gaining its three-run cushion on Keagan Monroe’s single to left.

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