Turner leads State Farm past SNB-Stanton

STANTON – Normally, a defensive display like the one put on by Superior National Bank-Stanton’s center fielder Carter Nettell throughout a game at Stanton Field would be enough to help his team to a victory. However, Thursday night proved to be the exception to the rule, as Dean Kangas State Farm had a tremendous effort of their own from pitcher Brady Turner to beat Stanton, 7-3.

Turner turned in a three-hit gem on the mound to help his team to the win while also going 2-for-4 at the plate. While his delivery appeared to get stronger as the game progressed, Turner never really felt comfortable despite mixing things up a bit.

“I’ve started throwing a new pitch the last two games,” said Turner. “That worked out pretty good I felt wild the whole game.”

For Stanton, Nettell shone strong throughout the night, coming up with smart baserunning in the first inning to score a run before coming up with three big catches in center field, two of which he ran and dove for, bailing out pitcher Cole Jepsen.

“He was outstanding in the field,” said Stanton player-manager Daron Durocher. “Diving catches, you don’t see a whole lot of that in this league. That was great.”

Jepsen was not as impressive on the mound as he has been throughout this Twilight League season. But if not for a couple of errors, he pitched well enough to keep the game close. He was not helped much by Stanton’s offense, which left runners on base multiple times throughout the contest.

“It wasn’t that he pitched a bad game,” said Durocher of Jepsen. “A couple of errors scored a couple of runs. They scored what, seven runs? A play here and a play there, and I think we could have cut that down to four or five, easily, and we would have had a ballgame, if we did that.”

State Farm (7-6) started the game off strong. Morgan Impala sparked the early attack with a single to center field. Kyle Storm followed up with a walk. T.J. Kilpela singled to center to bring home Impala and give the visitors the early lead. Scott Wesa then singled to left field, bringing Storm home.

Needing a response in the bottom half of the first, Stanton (9-4) got it from Nettell, who led off with a walk. He got to second on a passed ball before stealing third. Durocher reached first on an infield hit. Nettell then scored on a wild pitch.

In the top of the second, State Farm regained their two-run lead.

Turner came up with a one-out single to center field. After stealing second, he scored when Dave Wesa singled over Stanton third baseman Ryan Puuri’s head.

In the bottom of the third, Tyler LaDuron walked before Jepsen walked, putting two men on base. Andy Soli struck out with runners on for the second time to end the threat.

In the top of the fourth, State Farm found ways to add to their lead.

Kyle Sheck singled to left field to lead off. Turner laid down a smart bunt, allowing himself to reach while also moving Sheck into scoring position. Dave Wesa laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Impala reached on an error, which brought home Sheck. Turner then scored on a sacrifice fly by Storm. A passed ball allowed Impala to score before the inning ended, putting the visitors up 6-1.

Errors came back to bite Stanton again in the top of the sixth. After Nettell came up with his third good catch of the night, Kilpela singled over second base. Jepsen tried to catch Kilpela napping on first base, but instead the ball sailed past first Brady Olson, allowing Kilpela to advance. Olson then tried to thrown out Kilpela as he broke for third, but the throw missed its target, allowing Kilpela to score.

Stanton got two of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings.

Olson walked to lead off the sixth. Jepsen singled to center, moving Olson to third. Olson eventually scored on a wild pitch.

In the seventh, Nettell and LaDuron walked before Durocher hit one to the gap at right center to bring Nettell home. A double play ended any chance Stanton had of adding any more runs.