171 upends Post 443
GLADWIN – Gladwin’s Post 171 swept Sanford in a twinbill last Wednesday evening, 7-4 and 5-3. Sanford was absent of their starburst pitcher/shortstop, Jimmy Schoof, however both teams were missing players and both were thin on pitching considering they both played numerous games over the previous weekend and both had doubleheaders the night prior. Gladwin split with Sacred Heart’s summer team beating them 9-3 and losing 5-4. Sanford upended Lewiston 7-6 and 5-1 also the night before.
Swan Valley’s Ben Finzel was pumping strikes for Post 171, he changed speeds and mixed up his pitches just enough to keep the Sanford batsmen off kilter. However, 443 did strike pay dirt first as Nick Mammel and Travis Walker walked. Both scored, Mammel did via a Logan Gatza single and Walker trotted home after a Gladwin throwing error, 2-0.
Robert Ellebracht ripped an Rbi single to make 3-0 in the 2nd inning, then to evade greater trouble, Finzel fanned Damon Walter to allude the 2nd inning madness.
Beaverton’s Aiden O’Rourke rocked an Rbi single to make it 3-1. Chris Kaiser kept pumping strikes and he wiggled out of trouble in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Gladwin’s Shawn Larner attacked a grounder, fielded and threw all in one fluid motion to retire 443 in the top of the 3rd.
Illuminating field presence, Cam Smith fielded a scalded grounder, zipped a strike to Jordan Holbrook at 2nd base for one out and Holbrook jump threw a bullet to Aubry Jensen at first to twist a pair and eliminate Sanford’s threat in the 4th inning.
Smith drilled a single in the 5th and Jensen followed with a moon blast over the left field fence to knot the affair at 3-3. Sanford’s Hunter Gatza came up in the 6th and cranked a solo bomb, 4-3. Later in the inning, Anderson picked off Kitzmiller at 3rd base, then Mammel grounded out to end the threat.
Larner came up in the 6th and singled. O’Rourke burned Ty Rollin in center, then Anderson hit a sac fly scoring O’Rourke to make it 5-4 in favor now of 171. Post 171 stifled Sanford in the 7th, then in their half of the inning Holbrook led with a single. James Baer smashed a single and Dylan Brown scored pinch running via Smith’s single.Aubry banged a grounder which Gatza fumbled permitting another run, Gladwin won 7-4. Gladwin rallied again in the nightcap to triumph, 5-3. “Holbrook gave up three runs in the 1st inning, then he setteled down for the complete game victory. Johnston hit an Rbi single, O’Rourke ripped a two Rbi triple and we scored four runs in the 2nd which was the difference. Both rallies were great games, Sanford is a quality team,” commented Gladwin’s Coach Terry Brokoff. Gladwin played great down in Lansing the weekend prior losing in finals against Ann Arbor’s Post 46, after defeating Milford, DeWitt twice and St. Josephs.
SAULT SAINT MARIE - During the weekend of July 6th -8th Coach Mike Smock, Coach Terry Walter and Coach Kaiser drove their ballplayers across the Mackinac Bridge up to Michigan’s earliest settlement, Sault St. Marie where they squared off with the Upper Peninsula’s best baseballers. The Sanford based ballclub shredded their northern Michigan and Ontario competition. Post 443 went 6-0 across the straits.
In the opener, Sanford mercied Alpena in five innings, 15-0. Beal City’s Ty Rollin blanked Alpena, throwing five Ks and he only surrendered one hit. Damon Walter was the catalyst from the plate as he had two base knocks and he scored a pair of runs.
Midland High’s Travis Walker slung five strikeouts, surrendered just two hits and allowed zero earned runs in 443’s 9-3 triumph over the Soo Post. Chris Kaiser smacked two singles, drove home two Rbis and scored two runs.
Kaiser turned around and rifled from the rubber to grant 443 another win, this time over the Soo of Ontario, 16-3. Kaiser compiled 10 Ks, allowed six hits and three runs. Midland’s Nick Mammel belted three hits. Merrill’s Jimmy Schoof smashed two hits and scored three runs. Frankenmuth’s Hunter Gatza rocked two singles and delivered two Rbis.
Robert Ellebracht spearheaded Sanford over Escanaba, 9-3. Ellebracht permitted just three hits, two runs and he fanned two. Rollin was on a roll as he sliced two hits and scored two runs.
Jordan Stainforth rifled 7 Ks, he allowed 10 hits and just two runs. Hunter Gatza and Jordan Kraut led the offensive barrage with two hits a piece.
Coach Smock unleashed the flame hurling Jimmy Schoof and Sanford shutout Petoskey, 3-0. Schoof gunned four Ks, allowed two hits and zero runs. Walter crunched three hits. Zach Kitzmiller crushed a two-run triple. “We played a very solid tournament with consistent defense and hitting. Ty Rollin led the way going 7-10 including five walks,” said Coach Smock.