REL racks up win over Garnet

Jamie Glenn/Daily Mining Gazette REL Inc.-Mohawk Technology’s Brent Loukus connects with a pitch during a game against Garnet’s Garage Tuesday in Hancock.

HANCOCK — With the Durocher Tournament looming this weekend, both Garnet Garage and REL Inc.-Mohawk Technology were both looking for a win to give them some momentum heading in during Copper Country Twilight League play. In a five-inning battle Tuesday, REL turned a 6-2 contest into a 14-4 victory for REL at the Hancock Driving Park.

The big inning for REL was the fourth, where they posted half of the runs they collected for the night.

“Everyone hit the ball and we didn’t have any errors in the field which is good,” said REL player-manager Tyler Loukus. “We played good defense and got the bats going.”

The big inning opened with a single from catcher Rory Anderson. Sam Kiiskila walked. Dean Loukus followed two batters later with a single. Tyler Loukus then singled. Scott Loukus reached on an error. Sam Erkkila followed with a walk.

Those six batters all crossed home plate as part of the offensive push. REL added one more run as Anderson tripled.

Garnet Garage opened the scoring in the top of the first innning as Justin Norkol and Will Romano both walked before the fans had even settled into their seats. After Eli Oldt loaded the bases with a single, Reid Heathman sacrificed to bring Norkol and Romano home.

Brent Loukus reached on an error in the bottom of the first to spark REL’s bats. Anderson and Kiiskila both walked before Glen Larson reached on an error. Brent Loukus scored on the play. Anderson later scored and Kiiskila came in on a fielder’s choice by Tyler Loukus, giving REL a lead they would not relinquish.

After the Garnet bats were held in check in the top of the second, Erkkila singled. Four batters later, Kiiskila reached on a walk. Erkkila scored on a defensive error and Kiiskila later scored to put the hosts up 5-2.

“From top to bottom, everyone hit the ball and we were pretty consistent through every inning but at the fourth,” said Tyler Loukus. “I think we batted around once or twice. Everyone was hitting. It was good.”

In the top of the fourth, with Garnet trailing 6-2, they made a push with Tyler Cleary reaching after getting hit by a pitch. Norkol followed with a single. Will Romano singled to knock in Cleary. Norkol also found his way home, but that was the last run his team scored.

“We have five yong guys on this squad and they did a nice job again tonight,” said Joe Romano, Garnet’s manager. “Our hitting is coming in, that’s the biggest thing. We cut down on some of the errors and we’re going to be okay.”

Both teams will be playing in the Leo Durocher Tournament this weekend.

“Friday night, we play State Farm, and that’s the start of the Durocher Tournament and then Saturday morning we play Channing,” said Tyler Loukus. “They are both good teams, so we’re going to have to come out and be ready for them.”

“We’re (playing) in the Durocher Tournament next Friday night against Staton,” said Joe Romano. “Hopefully we’ll be okay. We’ll see what happens.”