HANCOCK - Last Thursday, 16-year-old Dax Durocher's first career Twilight League home run sparked Stanton to a win. This Thursday, 16-year-old Trent Keteri's first career Twilight pitching performance paced the Wildcats to victory at Hancock Driving Park.
Keteri allowed four runs and four hits, struck out six in five innings of work, added two hits of his own offensively, and got all the run support he needed from his veteran teammates in guiding Stanton to an 11-5 road win over Pat's Foods.
"Trent pitched a pretty good game for us in a spot start," Stanton manager Daron Durocher said. "He doesn't seem to get rattled as a young kid."
Pat’s Foods second baseman Cleve Heikkila reels in a high pick-off attempt in the top of the fifth inning Thursday, but Stanton’s Alex Johnson successfully stole second base. Stanton won 11-5 in Hancock. (DMG photo by Stephen Anderson)
In fact, none of the Wildcats seemed rattled coming off their first loss of the season Tuesday against Mosquito Inn/Computer Mechanix. Six different batters tallied hits and four had multi-hit nights, led by Daron Durocher's 3-for-4 performance.
"We had a pretty well-balanced attack today. Maybe a couple guys didn't get a hit, but for the most part up and down the lineup we all produced a little bit, and in the later innings, (Erik Nettell) put the capper on it with the home run."
Nettell's third homer of the season, a three-run line-drive blast off Pat's pitcher Andrew Ewer, put Stanton up 10-3 in the top of the fifth inning.
Stanton 030 341 0 - 11 11 3
Pat's 003 010 1 - 5 8 5
WP: Trent Keteri, 5 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 6 K, 4 HBP, 1 BB
LP: Andrew Ewer, 7 IP, 11 R, 11 H, 7 K, 6 BB, 2 HBP
Stanton: Daron Durocher 3-4; Erik Nettell 1-5, HR, 4 RBI;
Pat's Foods: Clint Heikkila 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Lee Naugle 1-4, HR, RBI
Pat's added a run in the bottom of the inning, and a solo homer from Lee Naugle in the seventh, but a mini three-hit last-inning rally off Stanton reliever Daron Durocher was far too little, far too late.
But the game wasn't always so firmly in Stanton's favor.
he Wildcats had jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings - two of those runs due to Pat's throwing errors - but the hosts tied it up with three third-inning runs, thanks to a pair of Stanton fielding errors and three straight hit batters by Keteri.
"The other players came and gave me high fives and said keep going. You have to keep going and not worry about it," said Keteri, who settled down and got two strikeouts to minimize the third-inning damage.
While Keteri bailed out Stanton's fielding errors, Pat's committed too many for Ewer to overcome. Three fourth-inning errors led to three more Stanton runs, upping the score to 6-3.
"They capitalized on a couple errors and made them big innings. Errors will kill you," said Ron Naugle, who was filling in for Pat's regular manager Pete Guidotti.
But Pat's had already come back from one three-run deficit in the game.
Not this time.
Nettell all but eliminated the chance of another such comeback with his two-out bomb. Alex Johnson, Keteri and Daron Durocher, who along with Josh Koskela had multi-hit games for Stanton, set the table for Nettell by leading off the inning with three straight hits.
Ewer still finished the game for Pat's, altogether surrendering 11 hits, 11 runs, six walks and two hit batters, but also earning seven strikeouts.
Stanton (7-1) and Pat's Foods (2-5) will be back in action when they join BlueSky Health (4-4) and Mosquito Inn/Computer Mechanix (2-5) at the Jack Pastore Memorial Tournament this Saturday in Dollar Bay. All teams will have a bye on Tuesday and be back to regular season play next Thursday.