Kirby throws no-hitter as SNB-Stanton tops Garnet

Jamie Glenn/Daily Mining Gazette Superior National Bank-Stanton’s Justin Kirby readies to deliver a pitch during a game against Garnet Garage in Stanton.

STANTON — Looking to end their three-game losing streak Tuesday night, Superior National Bank-Stanton did just that, earning an 11-0 Copper Country Twilight League victory over Garnet Garage at Stanton Field. Kevin Bostwick drove the SNB-Stanton offense with three runs scored on the night.

Justin Kirby was strong on the mound for SNB-Stanton with a no-hitter thanks to 10 strikeouts in five innings. He was also quick to help himself at the plate, reaching on a fielder’s choice as the second batter of bottom of the first inning. He made it to second on an error before stealing third. Kirby later scored on a single by Eric Nettell.

“Great pitching performance by Justin Kirby,” said SNB-Stanton player-manager Daron Durocher. “He walked two guys and didn’t give up a hit today. that was pretty impressive. He threw the ball really nice.

“We had one rookie to the team come up with a base hit and an RBI in his first game ever with David Jukkala.”

The only blemishes on Kirby’s day were a pair of walks, one to Jordan Reynolds in the second and Justin Norkol in the third.

In the second, Bostwick got things started with a single. Al Nettell reached on an error. Trent Keteri walked. All three scored. Eli Louma tripled and Kirby followed with one of his own. Both of them scored as well, putting SNB-Stanton up 6-0.

“We had some consistent players along the way,” said Durcher. “The bats were rolling (with) a couple of new guys getting in and one heck of a performance by (Justin) Kirby.”

Bostwick scored the lone run of the third by first walking, stealing second and later score on a single by Jukkala. Kirby got the bats rolling in the fourth by singling and later scoring.

“Well, I knew this team had been hitting pretty well recently, so I knew I just had to locate my fast ball,” said Kirby. “What I was really focusing on was locating and it worked out pretty well. (I) mixed the curve ball in there to keep them off balance. It was a good game.”

Eric Nettell singled, Josh Koskela reached on a fielder’s choice and Bostwick also reached safely as the fourth continued. All three scofred before Louma’s strikeout ended the inning.

With the win, SNB-Stanton improved to 4-3 on the season and will travel to Hancock Thursday to face Dean Kangas-State Farm. SNB-Stanton started the season 3-0 before dropping their last three, a fact not lost on the team.

“We’re in Hancock on Thursday and it’s always a fun, tough game against (those) guys, (along with) most teams in the league,” said Kirby. “We started out hot (and then) were in a three-game slump there, so this is a good (win) to tutn the season around here and get back on a winning streak.”

Garnet Garage pitcher Austin Kuivanen hopes to see his team make some adjustments before their next game on Thursday against REL Inc.-Mohawk Technology, the Twilight League leader.

“(We’ve) got to throw strikes,” said Kuivanen. “We need to work on fielding the ball well and getting good base hits when we need them.

“We play Thursday. We need to get out bats rolling in the beginning and keep them going all the way through and make sure that our defense is behind our pitchers.”