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Jeffers splits DH against Gogebic

Jeffers’ Simon Rajala, center, swings away against Gogebic on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in Stanton. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

STANTON — The Jeffers Jets opened a doubleheader with a 6-2 extra-inning loss to the Gogebic Miners on Thursday only to turn around and win 9-0 in the second game.

The key to the comeback win in the second game was the Jets (4-2) pitcher Levi Frahm. He threw a complete-game (six innings) shutout which included 10 strikeouts.

“Levi did what I asked him to do, and that was throw strikes,” said Jets first-year head coach Luke Paul. “I need our pitchers to throw strikes and let the kids hit. And hopefully our defense then will do its job. Walks are the reason we lose games.”

Frahm got plenty of help from his teammates at the plate. In the second inning alone, the Jets knocked in six runs as they hit through the order. This included a double by Dean Jurmu and singles by Ari Rautiola and Andrew Kinnunen.

“We were more patient and didn’t swing at bad pitches,” Paul said. “I think everybody got on base at least once.”

The Jeffers defense was also much better in the second game. In short, the Jets played their positions well and had few errors.

Pitching was also key in the first game in the form of a pitching duel. The Miners starter Peyton Solberg and the Jets hurler Dean Jurmu tossed scoreless innings until the fifth.

“I’ve been very pleased in the way Dean has been throwing,” Paul said. “This was his second outing of the year, and we had a chance to win it. We couldn’t get that run across with no outs (in the sixth).”

The first player to cross home was the Miners Antonio Defavaro who reached on a throwing error by the Jets third baseman Emmit Larson and eventually came home on a sac fly to left field by Solberg in the fifth. They would tally one more in the sixth, but could not keep the Jets bats and legs at bay.

Rajala led the sixth off for the Jets with a missed third strike which put him on first. Trevor Halonen followed with a walk and a Brett Heinonen double knocked them both in to tie the game at two. Heinonen would make it to third with no one out but the Jets could not bring him in, and the game was headed for a seventh inning.

Gogebic (6-3) wasted no time in coming alive in the extra frame. Jack Matrella opened with a hard-hit ball to left and followed with a stolen base. Alan Holm brought him in on a line drive through the middle. Holm would later score on a fielder’s choice and before the third out was marked, the Miners had put four more runs on the board. The Jets meanwhile went down one, two, three in the bottom of the seventh.

“We did much much better in that first game,” said Gogebic head coach Ross Solberg. “Peyton threw well and Adam Libertoski had two RBIs. It was a well played game on both sides of the lines as both teams hung in there until the end.”

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