No resolution: Game between SNB-Stanton, State Farm tied

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Dean Kangas-State Farm’s Brady Turner crossed home plate during a game against Superior National Bank-Stanton Tuesday in Stanton.

omentum heading into the Durocher Tournament this weekend on the line, a Copper Country Twilight League game ended with neither team finding a win. After 12 innings and even an inning of international-rules baseball, Superior National Bank-Stanton (SNB) played to a 6-6 tie against Dean Kangas-State Farm at Stanton Field.

After three hours and the onset of dusk, the two teams decided to call it a night and pick it up where they left off the next time the two teams meet in the regular season. Whenever that is, it will be the top of the 13th inning.

Tuesday night’s contest was really the tale of two games. The first seven innings was a back-and-forth battle which each team commanding the lead at some point. Once the game headed into “overtime,” that is inning eight and beyond, the contest became a pitching duel.

The boys from SNB-Stanton got on the scoreboard first in the second inning. Third baseman Erik Nettell got on with a base hit. Then Dax Durocher singled to the left side. With two men on, first baseman Josh Koskela brought them both in on a hard-hit ball to right field that was misplayed and went for extra bases.

However, State Farm came back to tie it in their half of the third. Brady Turner got a hit. Shortstop Luke Paul then walked. First baseman Brian Juopperi knocked in Turner with a single. Then Scott Pietila smacked an RBI line drive that brought in Paul.

In the bottom of the third, SNB-Stanton went back on top as State Farm’s starter Dave Wesa walked in a run. After three, SNB led 3-2.

But it did not last long.

In the fourth, State Farm’s left-handed swinging Turner launched a Trent Keteri fastball deep over the right-field fence with two men on to put them on top with a 5-3 lead.

They made it 6-3 an inning later as Juopperi started things off with a hit. He advanced to second on a Pietala single and then to third on a wild pitch. He scored a batter later on a hard hit fielder’s choice of the bat of Jason Koski.

In the bottom of the fifth, SNB had some hard-hitting heroics of their own. With one out and catcher Jon Crawford on second, Dax Durocher drilled a fastball over the left-field fence for a two-run homer. After five innings State Farm led 6-5.

“Dax’s home run was incredible,” said SNB’s player-assistant coach Tom Durocher. “It was just what we needed to the turn this game around. It was just what we needed at the right time.”

In the bottom of the seventh, State Farm just needed three outs to go home, but SNB foiled their plans. Justin Kirby got on first with a base hit. Two batters later, Nettell put a line drive shot into right field that allowed Kirby to come home and tie the game. They even had a chance to end it with bases loaded, but Keteri struck out and the game was headed into extra innings.

“The first part of the game saw a lot of hits from both squads,” said Juopperi, State Farm’s player-manager. “It was baseball like it should be. As well, it was good to see Brady hit that home run.”

The game then became a pitching duel between new hurlers Eli Luoma for SNB-Stanton and Turner for State Farm. Both pitchers threw hard and neither squad could put any hits together as the game crawled into the ninth, 10th and 11th innings.

Stanton had runners in scoring position several times but State Farm’s defense shut them down as they performed a couple of double plays in the late innings.

“Their defense certainly made the difference there at the end,” said Tom Durocher.

As the clock struck 9:25, the two teams even tried to settle the game with an inning of international-rules baseball. In the 12th inning, both teams came to bat with a runner on second and one out to start the inning. SNB-Stanton had their best chance to end it with bases loaded and Luoma at the plate, but he could not come through. Tuesday night’s 6-6 saga on the diamond in Stanton was indeed a rare one and that will go down in the annals of Twilight League baseball history as that one game that was … to be continued.