Gremlins score in bunches, earn sweep over Jets Tuesday

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Jeffers’ Ari Rautiola fouls off a pitch during the first game of a doubleheader against Houghton Tuesday at Stanton Field.

STANTON — The Houghton Gremlins baseball team chalked up two more tallies in the win column Tuesday night as they downed the Jeffers Jets, 18-4 and 9-6, in doubleheader action at Stanton Field.

“Our defense is what keeps us in these ballgames,” said Gremlins manager Joe Romano. “I like having Justin Norkol at short, Kade Farrell at second and Kevin Bostwick can play just about anywhere. He is our ultimate team player as he fills the holes as needed.”

Hot bats helped as well as the Gremlins outscored the Jets 27-10 in 10 innings. The first game ended after four innings due to the mercy rule.

Tyler Romps was on the mound for Houghton in the first game. Andrew Kinnunen was the hurler for the Jets.

The Gremlins tallied three runs in the first inning thanks to base hits by Bostwick, Norkol and Sam Keskimaki.

However, the Jets came back to tie in the second as third baseman Dean Jurmu led things off with a walk. He headed to second on a wild pitch and came home on a single by right fielder Ari Rautiola. Rautiola crossed home on a hit by Aidan Kinnunen. The Jets then pulled a double steal and tied the game at 3-3 as the throw went down to second.

The Gremlins pulled away in the third inning with five runs. First baseman Reid Heathman was the big bat of the inning as he smacked a deep line drive to center field with bases loaded. He cleared the bases as three runs came in and he ended up on second.

The Jets had their chances in the third but let three men on base.

In the fourth, the Gremlins went through their lineup as the Jets struggled in the field and on the mound. New Jets hurler Reid Heinonen walked several batters and hit a few as well. In the end, the Gremlins struck 10 times and the game ended.

“We are a young team and errors tend to kill us,” said Jeffers manager Steve Lishinski.

He added that he was much more pleased with his team’s play in the second game.

“We played a much more solid game,” he added.

In fact, the Jets took their first lead of the afternoon in the first inning of the second game as they scored three in the first off of Romps who started Game Two. Jets catcher Elias Rajala led things off with a single and Jackson Rocchi followed suit with a base hit of his own.

“Rajala is a pure ballplayer,” said Lishinski.” I was very proud of him today as he knows what to do and calls a good game behind the plate.”

But the Gremlins answered with two of their own to make the score 3-2.

That’s how the score would remain until the fifth inning when the Jets’ bats came alive again. Rocchi slapped a single up the middle. Pitcher Eli Larson followed with a hit of his own as did Austin Kinnunen. Rautiola brought them home with a single of his own and Aidan Kinnunen continued the hit parade to make their lead 6-2 with one more inning to go.

Timely hitting was then key for Gremlins as the came up in bottom of the fifth. They knocked out four hits in a row which included a Bostwick triple to deep center field. Three runs came in with with no outs. Catcher Dylan Horning then tied game with a base hits of his own to the right side. With two outs, three more runs came in to make the score 9-6.

“Hats off to Houghton,” said Lishinski. “They are a very good hitting team who got to our pitchers. We need game-time experience. We have only three seniors. We are young but every game we are getting better.”

The Jets fell to 5-7 on the season while the Gremlins advanced to 8-4 with less than a week to play in the season.