Dean Kangas-State Farm earns big win over Garnet Garage, 14-4

Jamie Glenn/Daily Mining Gazette Dean Kangas-State Farm’s Brian Juopperi fouls off a pitch during a game against Garnet Garage Tuesday in Hancock.

HANCOCK — Hot weather made for hot bats in favor of Dean Kangas-State Farm as they earned a 14-4 win against a younger, slightly slower Garnet Garage at the Hancock Driving Park on Tuesday.

“We were patient at the plate and swung at some good pitches and put the ball in play tonight,” said Dean Kangas-State Farm player-manager Brian Juopperi. “Once we got some runners on base, we were a little more patient at the plate and (were) just relaxed up there and hit the ball.”

With the bases loaded for State Farm, Brady Turner came in off of an error and Luke Paul made it home with a pop up to mid field. Brandon Teichman and Scott Peitila also scored to close out the early inning with a 4-0 advantage.

Garnet responded in the third inning with Eli Larson taking a base and scoring two of his team’s four tallies, one in the third and a second in the fifth inning after taking a ball to the back.

One pop up hit to center field and four errors helped State Farm en route to two more explosive innings as they added ten more runs, starting with Turner and rounding off with Trevor Wesa capitalizing on errors.

“I was actually running the bases, and I didn’t know that the ball went into the outfield, so I stopped at third,” said Juopperi. “We got kind of a mix up there but it worked out (because) we were all safe.”

Though the season is still young, Juopperi is impressed with his team’s defensive presence and their offensive patience at the plate.

Justin Norkol found his way home and Larson added his second run as part of a small rally in the fifth, but for Garnet, the damage had already been done before they were able to take advantage of State Farm’s pitching change.

“Our defense has been playing a lot better lately (and) Luke pitched a good game, kept them on their toes and I liked our approaches at the plate,” said Juopperi. “We’re a lot more patient than we were in the beginning of the year.”

Joe Romano, Garnet’s manager, admits his team still needs to work on lowering their errors if they want to remain competitive.

“Well, we’re not playing very good defensively,” he said. “Until we start playing good defensively, we’re going to get bombed. (We) can’t have five (to) six errors in a game (and win).”

Both teams will play again on Tuesday with Dean Kangas-State Farm facing Superior National Bank-Stanton. Garnet will face REL Inc.-Mohawk Technology, who is tied with SNB-Stanton for the top spot in the league.

“We play (SNB-)Staton next Tuesday,” said Juopperi. “They’re a good team. We’ve just got to put the ball in play against those guys and just hope for a win.”