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Superiorland Baseball League kicks off 8th season on Monday evening

The Marquette County Mavericks’ Jeff Krejcik, right, connects on a pitch during the Upper Peninsula Men’s Baseball Championship game played against Garnet Garage and held near Houghton at the Stanton field on Sept. 17. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Eddie O’Neill)

MARQUETTE — Five-time playoff champion Marquette County Mavericks begin their Superiorland Baseball League title defense on Monday night in Negaunee.

With the league in its eighth season, last year’s four teams return to each play seven games in the regular season on Monday nights through early August. Two rounds of playoffs should decide a playoff champ by the end of that month.

This Monday, the Mavericks will be considered the visiting team in a 7 p.m. game to be played at the Negaunee Irontown Field against Hubbards Marsh-The Band, a first-year team in 2023 that nearly pulled off winning the championship.

After both had won in the semifinal round, the Mavs knocked off Hubbards 5-2 in the playoff title game on Aug. 21 to make it five crowns in seven years.

With both those teams based in Marquette County, the Superiorland loop — which is a wood bat, adult-level league — also includes the Dickinson County-based Channing Railroaders and Escanaba-based Mikey D’s Beer Cave.

Hubbards Marsh-The Band first baseman Darren Salo, top, leaps to catch a pickoff throw as Marquette County Mavericks runner Doug Turnbull dives back during a Superiorland Baseball League game played on July 17 at Irontown Field in Negaunee. (Journal file photo by Alexandria Bournonville)

Monday’s other game will be played at 6:30 p.m. EDT in Felch with Channing as the home team against Mikey D’s.

In 2022, Mikey D’s downed the Railroaders in the Superiorland playoff finals.

This summer, two games are scheduled every Monday through Aug. 5, except there will be no games at the start of the extended Fourth of July holiday on July 1, and only one game on both July 8 and 15.

The playoffs are scheduled for Aug. 12 and 19, the first day being the semifinals that pit the No. 1 seed vs. No. 4 and the No. 2 team vs. No. 3, with the second date the championship game. Sites and times will be determined shortly before those games are played.

In addition to the Irontown Field in Negaunee, the other Marquette County field used by the league is at the Forsyth Township Ball Park Complex near Gwinn High School.

In addition to bragging rights as tops in the league, the playoff champion will be entered in the Upper Peninsula Championship game to be hosted in September by the Superiorland team this year against the top team from the Copper Country-based Twilight League.

In 2023, the two-time U.P. champion Mavericks lost a close nine-inning contest to Twilight victor Garnet Garage in the September contest.

Though it’s not officially part of the league, a number of players or even entire Superiorland teams might be participating in a pair of long-standing U.P. baseball tourneys — the Leo Durocher Memorial at the Houghton-area Stanton field on July 13-14 and the Felch Labor Day Weekend tourney in the Dickinson County town from Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

League officials noted that players interested in playing in the league can still join a team as the league would like to be able to expand in 2025. For more information, message Superiorland Baseball League on Facebook or call James Larsen II at 906-360-3674.

Here is the league’s entire regular-season schedule, including sites and times, with the second team in each listing considered to be the home team:

• Monday — Mikey D’s vs. Channing, 6:30 p.m. EDT, at Felch; Mavericks vs. Hubbards, 7 p.m., at Negaunee

• June 17 — Mavericks vs. Channing, 7 p.m. EDT, at Channing; Hubbards vs. Mikey D’s, 7:30 p.m., at Escanaba

• June 24 — Mikey D’s vs. Mavericks, 7 p.m., at Gwinn; Hubbards vs. Channing, 7 p.m. EDT, at Channing

• July 1 — OFF week

• July 8 — Channing vs. Mikey D’s, 7 p.m., at Escanaba

• July 15 — Hubbards vs. Mavericks, 6:30 p.m., at Negaunee

• July 22 — Channing vs. Mavericks, 7 p.m., at Negaunee; Mikey D’s vs. Hubbards, 7:30 p.m., at Escanaba

• July 29 — Channing vs. Hubbards, 7 p.m., at Negaunee; Mavericks vs. Mikey D’s, 7:30 p.m., at Escanaba

Aug. 5 — Mavericks vs. Hubbards, 6:30 p.m., at Negaunee; Mikey D’s vs. Channing, 7 p.m. EDT, at Felch

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

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