Gremlins hand Jets first loss during doubleheader
HOUGHTON — It wasn’t pretty, but the Houghton Gremlins baseball team did something no other team has accomplished this season against the Jeffers Jets on Tuesday. They defeated them.
In the bottom of the fifth in the second game of a doubleheader, with the score tied at two, a wild pitch by Jets starter Cody Turner allowed Gaborik Carlson to sprint home from third to win the game 3-2. Carlson had gotten on with a lead-off single.
The loss puts the Jets at 18-1, and the win improves the Gremlins to 16-5 with a week to go in the regular season. The Jets won the opener of the doubleheader 5-3.
Both games were well played according to coach Luke Paul of the Jets.
“Sometimes the ball does not drop in your favor,” he said. “Houghton is a good team defensively, and they make you earn every run. They make routine plays.
“There are no ‘gimmees’ here. It is good baseball and with this first loss, there is a weight lifted off our shoulders.”
In the Gremlins’ win, they started the game with a 2-1 lead after the first frame. With two men on, Houghton’s Cam Cischke knocked a bases-clearing single to right that earned him two RBIs. Their first lead of the day was a short one, however. The Jets’ Trevor Halonen plated a run in the top of the second to knot this game at two.
It then became a pitching duel. Turner was on the mound for the Jets and Bryce Pugh was the Gremlins starter. Both threw strong, and with a defense to back them up, neither team allowed runs in the third and fourth.
Pugh threw four innings allowing just two runs. He struck out five Jets and walked none. Left-hander Eli Heathman closed the game for Houghton to earn the win with just one inning of work.
Turner threw four innings for the Jets, allowing four runs. He struck out nine and walked four for the loss.
Game one was also a well-pitched affair. The Jets’ Levi Frahm threw a complete-game victory with eight strikeouts and four walks. Henry Switzer was on the mound for the Gremlins.
The Jets helped Frahm set the tone by taking a 2-1 lead after the first inning.
After a scoreless second, the Gremlins had a great chance to tie the game and even take a lead, but Jeffers’ defense shut them down. The boys from Houghton had two on and no one out but could not get them around to home plate as they hit into pop ups to end the inning.
In the fourth, a base rap by the Jets’ Chase Kinnunen brought in Luis Larson to make it a 3-1 tilt in their favor. They went on to score two more in the top of the fifth, and while the Gremlins took advantage of some errant throws by the Jets and scored twice, it would not be enough in this 5-3 loss.
“Obviously, I am happy with the win today, but more importantly I think we are playing some of our best baseball of the season, and that is what you need with districts next week,” said Gremlins’ coach Kevin Bostwick. “I really liked how we played as a team and came back to win the second game. This was good baseball on both sides of the field today and that’s what we need.”
The Gremlins will face Kingsford Thursday at home at 4 p.m. Both the Jets and the Gremlins will face each other once more on Tuesday, May 30, to close out the season with a doubleheader in Stanton.