New leaders: REL moves into first in Twilight League

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette REL Inc.-Mohawk Technology’s Sam Karaniemi swings at a pitch during a game against Superior National Bank-Stanton Tuesday in Stanton.

STANTON — All it took was one big inning as REL Inc.-Mohawk Technology downed Superior National Bank- Stanton, 9-3, in Twilight League action on Tuesday at Stanton Field.

The half inning in question was the top of the fifth as REL broke a 0-0 score and put seven runs on the scoreboard.

“We had good pitching and good fielding to start the game and then we came alive,” said player-manager Tyler Loukus.

Up until the fifth, the game was very much a three-up, three-down affair. Tyler LaDuron was on the hill for SNB. Sam Karaniemi started for REL Inc.

In the fourth, LaDuron was relieved by righthander Trent Keteri.

An inning later, the REL Inc. bats, who had been stifled by LaDuron, caught up to Keteri. Grant Johnson and Brent Loukus both got on with walks to start the frame. Brian Halonen loaded the bases in part thanks to an errant throw by Keteri.

Up to the plate came Karaniemi with the bases loaded. He helped his own cause with a hard hit double off the fence in left. Two runs came in on the play.

A couple of the hard hit fielder’s choices on the infield brought in two more runs as the inning continued. Catcher Rory Anderson knocked in the remainder with a long hit ball that took a bad bounce in left field and rolled to the fence as he landed on third.

SNB-Stanton put their only runs on the scoreboard in the sixth.

LaDuron started the rally with a line drive single, but a few pitches later REL’s Anderson sent him back to the dugout as he threw him trying to steal second. Two walks and a hit batsman loaded the bases for Keteri.

Unfortunately for SNB, Keteri struck out. That brought up veteran Tom Durocher with the bases still juiced. He smacked a hard hit line drive to right field bringing in two runs. Kade Farrell followed with an RBI base hit of his own.

It would not be enough, however, as Grant Johnson came in to pitch the sixth and the seventh innings and he managed to shut SNB-Stanton down.

“Sam pitched well and Grant did a great job to close the game,” said Loukus. “It was a good game all around.”

With the victory, REL Inc. moved into first place in the Twilight League with a 4-1 record. SNB-Stanton fell to second place at 3-2.

Despite the loss, SNB’s player-manager Daron Durocher thought it was a good game.

“REL is a good team. They are fast and young,” he said. “They did what they need to do to win the game.”