Kings swept by Braves

GLADSTONE — When the bats go cold, it’s a nice luxury to have dominant pitching to fall back on. That was the case here Saturday, as pitching powered the Gladstone baseball team past Calumet for a doubleheader sweep.

Carson Shea pitched a one-hitter to lead the Braves to a 1-0 victory in the opener, then a combined effort from Caden Alworden, Riley Baldovski and Parker Frappier led the Braves to a 6-0 shutout win in the nightcap.

Shea struck out seven while allowing no walks over six innings.

“He was around the strike zone, ahead of the batter and didn’t give up any walks again,” coach Shea said. “Our pitching is going to keep us in every game. In the second game, it was the same thing. We didn’t allow any walks again. I’m just so happy with the way we’re pitching.”

While the pitching was dominant, the Braves’ offense sputtered, particulary in the opener. They had just three hits and Zach Hanson had the lone RBI.

“Were we thinking about the prom? I don’t know. I don’t know if I’d schedule a game again when we have the prom because the kids weren’t in it,” coach Shea said. “I mean 1-0, that’s too close for comfort. I know our pitching is going to keep us in every ball game, but when you don’t have hitting it makes it pretty nerve-wracking.”

Trevor Hendrickson pitched the opener for Calumet (2-6).

“I’m real happy with the pitching, especially in the first game. We gave up the one run, but obviously we didn’t score any. The bats weren’t coming around, but hopefully they’ll start coming around soon,” Copper Kings’ coach Dave Yeo said. “Credit to Gladstone — they have a great squad and they’re well-coached. It’s the same old story in baseball — if you make the routine plays, you’re usually going to stay in it every game, and that’s what they do.”

The Braves (11-5) came to life a little more offensively in the nightcap.

After Christian Creten drove in Frappier on a RBI groundout in the second inning, the bats came to life in the third. Back-to-back RBI singles by Dan Martin and Frappier pushed the lead to 3-0.

Calumet had a chance to chop into its deficit in the fourth with runners on second and third and nobody out, but Baldovski recorded three straight outs without allowing a run.

“It’s just not the timely hits we’re producing yet. I hate to say it’s early because everything’s been getting crammed in here because of the way the spring’s been, but hopefully the bats will come around,” Yeo said.

Gladstone took control of the game in the fifth, scoring three times. After a bases-loaded walk by Calumet’s Brandon Antilla, Cam Kelly hit a two-run single into centerfield to push the lead to 6-0.

“In the second game, we had six hits and the ninth and 10th-graders had four of them,” coach Shea said. “They were excited and they came to play. They were excited to play varsity baseball and it showed. They were ready.”

Frappier finished with two hits and Kelly finished with two RBIs. Martin and Jared Crow each doubled. Alworden earned the win over three innings, fanning two. Baldovski gave up two hits and struck out three over two innings and Frappier punched out one in one inning.

Antilla took the loss, surrendering five runs on six hits through five innings. He struck out four and walked eight.

Calumet visits Gogebic today, while Gladstone visits Kingsford for a twinbill Tuesday.