DOLLAR BAY - Perhaps the sound of it was obscured by dirtbikes on the nearby trail, but BlueSky Health's offense clicked in near-audible fashion in the fifth inning of Thursday's Twilight League game against Mosquito Inn/Computer Mechanix.
Trailing by a run going in, the home team rapped out five hits in a row and seven for the inning, scoring five times en route to an 8-6 victory.
"We just got used to the speed (of the pitching)," BlueSky second baseman Keith Halonen said. "That's how baseball is. Hitting's contagious."
BlueSky Health pitcher Emmett Bjorn fields a grounder beside the mound and throws to first for an out Thursday against Mosquito Inn/Computer Mechanix in Dollar Bay. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Halonen delivered a single to centerfield that drove in Johnny Raisanen to give BlueSky the lead for good. Raisanen had doubled to left to bring in leadoff hitter Mark Nordstrom and tie it up a batter before.
Halonen scored just a batter later after Brian Juopperi singled on a line to right and the ball was mishandled in the outfield. Designated hitter Jason Koski then raised the chalk with a double down the left-field line to bring in Juopperi.
Though MI/CM finally grabbed a pair of infield outs, Ray Wojtala added to the damage with an RBI single for the fifth run of the inning.
MI/CM21001026 10 4
BSH200150X8 10 2
WP - Emmett Bjorn, CG, 3 ER, 10 H, 8 K, 1 BB
LP - Robert Brooks, 5 IP, 6 ER, 10 H, 1 K, 2 BB
MI/CM-Justin Poirier, 3-for-3, 2 2B, RBI
BSH-Brian Juopperi, 2-for-3
The rally withstood a visitors' uprising in the seventh, as Justin Poirier (hit by pitch) and Jim Maltese (single) both reached base to start the inning and eventually scored, Poirier on Robert Brooks' sacrifice fly and Maltese on an RBI single by Rob Baril. However, the tying run never got past first base, as BlueSky pitcher Emmett Bjorn earned a pair of strikeouts to finish off the game.
Bjorn was tough to handle all night, striking out at least one batter in each inning on the way to a total of eight in his complete game against only one walk. He scattered 10 hits and three of the six runs he allowed were earned.
On the opposite side, Brooks took the loss, allowing six earned runs on 10 hits in five innings. He walked two and fanned one.
BlueSky evened its record to 4-4 as the Twilight League season reaches the halfway point. Stanton is three games clear at the top, though BlueSky is 1 1/2 games ahead of both MI/CM and Pat's Foods.
"We're getting better every game, it seems like," Halonen said.
BlueSky hosts the Jack Pastore Memorial Tournament in Dollar Bay Saturday and will play Pat's in the opener at 11 a.m. in Dollar Bay. Stanton and MI/CM will follow at 2, with the title game taking place at 5.
BSH returns to league play Thursday (July 5) at home against Stanton.