Wolverine-Orbit bites first with 5-3 win over State Farm

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Wolverine-Orbit’s Aiden Wienke slides in an attempt to score while Dean Kangas State Farm’s Brady Turner looks to make the tag during a playoff game Tuesday at Wolverine Field.

WOLVERINE — There was a nip in the air at Wolverine Field on Tuesday night. A touch of fall was in the air. It was fitting weather for the opening game of a best-of-three playoff series between Wolverine-Orbit and Dean Kangas State Farm in the Copper Country Twilight League.

In a well-played game on both sides of the diamond, Wolverine-Orbit came out on top at home, 5-3.

“It’s usually our defense that lets us down,” said State Farm’s player-manager Brian Juppouri. “But, that wasn’t the case tonight as we played error-free ball for the most part. We hit the ball well, it just went to the wrong spot.”

Wolverine poked away at State Farm in the early innings. They got on the scoreboard first thanks to a base hit off of State Farm’s starter Brady Turner by third baseman, Hans Simac. He advanced to second on a beautifully placed bunt by Darren Bausano and was brought home by a Mike Saari line drive to left center.

In the second, they tacked on three more thanks to a timely base hit from Brody Budweg and a sacrifice fly to center by Wolverine outfielder Beau Dupuis. After two, Wolverine led 4 -0.

“It all came together for us tonight,” said Wolverine player-manager Luke Paul. “It was a well-fought battle, but I think timely hitting for us won the game.”

Starting on the mound for Wolverine was righthander Coy Budweg. Over seven innings, Budweg had six strikeouts and allowed three walks. Interestingly, Turner had similar numbers. He struck out eight and had six walks over six full innings.

Budweg pitched shutout ball until the sixth inning. Not only was it a rough inning for him but also for Stimac. With two outs, Stimac committed three errors alone. He had back-to-back throwing errors to first on routine ground balls and couldn’t glove another shot to him. It was as if State Farm had found their opponents’ weak spot and chipped away at it. All these mishaps brought home three runs from State Farm.

However, it was not enough as Wolverine knocked in one more in the sixth. Coy Budweg shut State Farm down with three fly balls in the seventh to the outfield to win the game.

The two teams will play tonight at 6:30 at Driving Park in Hancock.

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