Dean Kangas State Farm earns victory over REL Inc. 4-3

Jamie Glenn/Daily Mining Gazette REL Inc-Mohawk Technologies’ Luke Peterson fouls off a pitch from Dean Kangas State Farm’s Brady Turner during a game Tuesday at the Hancock Driving Park.

HANCOCK — In the late July heat, a setting sun and a slight breeze rolling in from the south, Tuesday was a perfect night for Dean Kangas State Farm and the visiting REL Inc.-Mohawk Technologies to get together and play some baseball. A series of unfortunate mistakes from REL Inc. led to a win for State Farm, 4-3, at the Hancock Driving Park.

For State Farm, the difference in the game was keeping things simple.

“We just told the guys to stay down on the ball and make simple plays,” said Brian Juopperi, player-manager for State Farm. “It’s been working for us. Just get contact on the ball and good things will happen.”

State Farm’s Brady Turner pitched a strong game for the winners. Juopperi felt his pitcher, along with solid, simple defense kept things rolling the way they needed them to.

“Yeah, Brady (Turner) pitched really well tonight and we’ve got some guys who are starting to hit the ball,” said Juopperi. “The best thing I like about (the game) is that we’re playing clean defense.”

State Farm got on the board first as Morgan Impala singled and later scored in the bottom of the second inning.

With two outs in the third, they added to their score as Dave Wesa, Carson Turner, and Juopperi all crossed the plate, making the score 4-0.

After suffering a 15-3 loss last Thursday against Wolverine-Orbit, REL Inc. was looking for a better effort defensively against State Farm, especially given that they only have a couple of games left in the regular season to figure things out. Unfortunately, they continued to struggle in the field Tuesday.

“We had too many errors in a row,” said Tyler Loukus, REL Inc.’s player-manager. “We didn’t hit the ball as good as we should have, and we left a few runners on base.”

With Superior National Bank-Stanton as their next opponent, things do not get much easier for REL Inc.

“We have to field the ball better,” said Loukus. “We can’t give up so many errors and the errors we do give up can’t be all in a row.”

REL Inc. finally broke through offensively in the bottom of the fourth inning with a single run. They added to their total with two runs coming from Grant Johnson and Bryce Turner in the fifth inning.

Despite REL Inc.’s attempted comeback, Brady Turner was able to keep them from getting that much-needed fourth run. Juopperi was very pleased with the effort.

“He (Brady Turner) pitching kept them on their heels most of the game and that’s our go to guy,” said Juopperi. “We count on him when we need a win.”