Wolverine sneaks away with 1-0 win over SNB

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gszette Wolverine-Orbit pitcher Coy Budweg delivers a pitch during the season-opener of the 2018 Twilight League season against Superior National Bank-Stanton.

WOLVERINE — It was the crack of the bat, the smack of the mitt and a spirited chatter that echoed throughout the infield that opened up the 2018 Copper Country Twilight League season at Wolverine Field. Tuesday night’s opener featured Superior National Bank-Stanton (SNB) against Wolverine-Orbit, in which Wolverine won 1-0.

“It’s great to be back,” said Wolverine coach Nels Paul.

For the most part, the league features former high school baseball players and a handful of college players. For instance, Wolverine’s starting pitcher on Tuesday, Coy Budweg, just finished his season at Lake County Junior College in Grayslake, Illinois. He is from the Keweenaw area and home for the summer.

With a mix of a fastball and slider, Budweg kept SNB scoreless. Wolverine put up one tally in the bottom of the third on an errant throw to first and it was the only score of the game.

SNB had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh with bases loaded and one out but grounded into a double play to end the game.

This year’s league has only four teams. Besides Wolverine and SNB, there are two teams from Hancock (Dean Kangas State Farm and REL Inc.). In the past, the league has had up to six or eight teams.

The teams play each other four times throughout the season. On the weekend of July 14, the league will host the Leo Durocher Memorial Tournament with four teams from Marquette coming to town to play a round-robin tournament.

Paul told the Daily Mining Gazette that there is no age restriction on the league. While his team, leans towards the 20-something side, SNB had a couple of dads with young kids. He added that while his job these days has been relegated to keeping the ball diamond at Wolverine well groomed, he has been known to put down the rake and suit up at the age of 50-something.

“It’s only when we have seven or eight players show up,” he said with a smile. “It’s baseball and once you get it into your system, you can’t get it out.”