Gremlin double: Houghton takes both games in doubleheader with Calumet
STANTON — Good, sound fundamental baseball was the name of the game for the Houghton Gremlins as they swept the Calumet Copper Kings, 9-0 and 13-5, on Stanton Field Tuesday night.
With the wins, Houghton moved to 3-1 on the season and their manager Joe Romano was quite pleased with the effort his boys put into this young season so far.
“The kids are energetic, and they want to play,” he said. “They are working hard, and it showed today.”
In the first game, Kevin Bostwick went to the mound for the Gremlins. He threw a complete-game shutout, striking out five Copper Kings in six innings. Dan Tarnowski made the start for Calumet.
Houghton got to work right away, scoring three in the first inning due to three errors and a Sam Keskimaki double up the middle.
“We need to get better at fundamentals,” said a David Yeo, manager of the Copper Kings. “With a good team like Houghton, you cannot give them four and five outs an inning. We had too many of those this afternoon. You have to make routine plays if you want to stay in the game.”
The Gremlins tacked on another run in the second and one more in the third by simply swinging the bats and putting the ball in play.
“We are in a good groove,” added Romano. “We are right where we need to be.”
Most impressive was the effort of the seven fielders behind Bostwick, who appeared flawless for the most part in their fielding and anticipating what the next play would be. The Gremlins only allowed four batters to the plate in each inning. It was four up and three down.
In the fifth, Houghton lengthened their lead to nine with a four run inning and took the first game.
Calumet’s Trevor Hendrickson was the starter for the Copper Kings in the second game. While he threw well, once again he did not have much help in the field. Justin Norkol was on the mound for the Gremlins.
The Copper Kings got on the scoreboard first as Sam Erkkila drove in two runs in the first inning with a line-drive double into the gap in left center field. However, their lead did not last long as the Gremlins bats stayed alive.
In the bottom of the first, Norkol and Keskimaki both reached base on a single and double respectively and were knocked in by a bases-clearing double by Reid Heathman. When all was said and done in the first inning, all nine Gremlins came to the plate and the score was 4-2 in their favor.
While the Copper Kings’ bats went silent in the second, the Gremlins’ bats stayed hot as Keskimaki had another double and Bostwick a single. The Copper Kings committed a number of errors in the inning, which did not help their cause. After two it was 8-2.
The Copper Kings mounted a comeback in the third as Sam Kiiskela and Erkkila got on with walks and were brought in with a double to right center by Scott Loukus. While they would tack on one more run in the sixth inning, it was not nearly enough as the Gremlins added five more and went on to a 13-5 win.
“Obviously I was happier with our effort in the second game,” said Yeo. “We hit the ball better but our fielding needs a lot of work. Some of that will come as we are able to get outside more now.”
With the two losses the Copper Kings fall to 3-7 on the season.
The Gremlins will head to Negaunee for a tournament this weekend.