Luoma pitches shutout as SNB-Stanton takes Durocher opener

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Superior National Bank-Stanton’s Eli Luoma delivers a pitch during a game against Garnet Garage Friday in Stantion.

STANTON — Friday night marked the opening night of the Leo Durocher Memorial Tournament and Superior National Bank-Stanton, who is managed by Leo’s son Daron, won their opening game against Garnet Garage, 3-0, at Stanton Field.

The game was a slow one with a hit here and a hit there, no real big plays in the field. At best, it was baseball in ordinary time, which was just fine for SNB-Stanton, who had been part of a 13-inning marathon on Tuesday that was suspended without a resolution.

SNB-Stanton got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the first with a series of walks and a wild pitch. Garnet’s starting pitcher Chris Saari walked three in a row. His first was to SNB-Stanton outfielder Tyler LaDuron who ended up on third. With Dax Durocher, Leo’s grandson, at the plate, LaDuron came home on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the third, LaDuron crossed the plate again. This time it was on a walk. After three, SNB-Stanton led 2-0 and that is how the score would stay until the bottom of the sixth.

SNB-Stanton’s Jon Crawford was hit by a pitch and came in two batters later when Justin Kirby smacked a line drive to right center to make it 3-0.

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Garnet’s Garage’s Chris Saari connects with a pitch during a game against Superior National Bank-Stanton Friday.

Eli Luoma pitched the complete-game shut out. He recorded an impressive 12 strikeouts and just two walks. Seven of those strikeouts occurred in the first three innings.

Big bats for Garnet Garage included shortstop Justin Norkel who was 4-for-4 at the plate.

Despite the loss, Garnet’s manager Joe Romano was pleased with his young team’s performance. He noted the difference a month makes in terms of when his team first played SNB-Stanton in the Twilight League opening week in June.

“We were in the game tonight,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more. We lost to a good pitcher who has a lot of experience. We stayed together and it is a very good experience for our high school players to go up against these older guys.”

SNB-Stanton’s player-manager Daron Durocher agreed.

“Garnet played a good game,” he said. “They hung right in there. While we scored more runs, those were on a wild pitch and a walk.”


The Leo Durocher Memorial Tournament continues Saturday and Sunday. It is a round-robin pool play tourney. Pool A consists of REL Inc.-Mohawk Technology, Dean Kangas-State Farm and the Channing Railroaders. Pool B features Garnet Garage, SNB-Stanton and the Tri-City North Stars from Negaunee.

Saturdays schedule is as follows:

11 a.m., Pool A REL vs. Channing Railroaders

1:30 p.m., Pool B Garnet Garage vs. Tri City

4:00 p.m., Pool A Dean Kangas vs. Channing Railroaders

6:30 p.m., Pool B SNB-Stanton vs. Tri-City


Noon, Copper Country oldtimers vs. South Copper Country oldtimers

3 p.m., Championship game between Pool A & Pool B winner.