Flames swept by Marquette

MARQUETTE – On a pleasant Saturday afternoon, the Marquette Blues put together two nice victories at Haley Memorial Field.

Marquette swept a doubleheader from the Copper Country Flames, winning the first 6-5 in nine innings and the second 11-1 in six innings.

The opening game was a back-and-forth nail-biter. Eventually, the Blues scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth when Brendan Higbie drove in Sam Leow with an RBI single. Leow had reached base on a triple.

“I thought Garrett Finkbeiner threw a great game and he has done a good job as our ace this year,” Blues manager Derek Swajanen said. “We also did a good job defensively.

“Offensively, we’re not where we want to be yet. We’re just not getting good barrels on the ball. That’s what is hurting us. We’re not picking our pitches well. We’re swinging at pitches up and out of the zone and we’re not getting good barrels on the ones that are.

“Defensively, we’ve done enough and pitching has been very good. We just need to hit better.”

Despite pitching the first eight innings, Finkbeiner didn’t get the decision. He struck out nine while allowing five runs, two of them earned, on nine hits and two walks. Jay Oberg got the win, coming on in the ninth inning and pitching a scoreless and hitless three outs.

Marquette was led offensively by Brendan Higbie and Sam Leow, each going 2 for 4; and Trevor Koski, who had a hit and two RBIs. Each of those players also scored a run as Higbie also had an RBI. Teammate Riley Lynch drew three walks and scored two runs.

Brad Juntunen took the loss for Copper Country, giving up one run and three hits in 2 1/3 innings. He also led the Flames at the plate, going 4 for 5 with 2 RBIs and a run scored.

The second game was all Blues from the start. Marquette picked up a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Koski, then padded the lead with two more runs in the second, one of them on an Oberg single.

Marquette broke the game open in the third with three more runs, two on Flames miscues. The Blues added two more runs in the fourth on a Brandon Lotterman single and another in the fifth on a base hit by Riley Lynch.

After the Flames got one run back in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Carter Nettell, Marquette invoked the 10-run mercy rule with two runs in the bottom of the inning, one on a wild pitch and the other on an Oberg single.

Brett Beauchamp earned the win for the Blues, throwing all six innings and striking out three. Al Nettell took the loss for Copper Country, giving up nine runs in five innings.