Stanton starts Twilight season with shutout over REL
CALUMET — For many, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. For those in the Copper Country, perhaps Memorial Day combined with opening day of Twilight League baseball puts the official stamp of approval of summer finally arriving. Either way, both have come and gone.
The latter occurred Tuesday night in a game between Houghton Building Supply-Stanton and REL-Mohawk Technology.
At Paul Lehto Field in Calumet, Stanton mercied REL 15-0 in five innings.
In many ways it was the tale of two teams — one came ready to play, and the other had lots of opening day jitters.
“I think one of the advantages for us is that we have a lot of high school kids on the team, and they have experience from the spring season,” said Stanton’s player-coach Daron Durocher. “We are a strange combination of older and younger players.”
Strange or not, the boys and men from Stanton came swinging from the first pitch and never let up.
Cameron Cischke opened with a walk, and came home three batters later thanks to Erik Nettell, who smacked a double to right center. Third baseman Dax Durocher followed suit with a single up the middle and it was a 4-0 game after one. In the second, Cischke and Zach Geborkoff both scored to make a 6-0 Stanton tilt.
“We were making solid contact and putting the ball into play,” said Daron. “When you do that, you generate runs.”
Steady pitching by Stanton starter Rob Brooks was also key. In short, he threw strikes and let his defense do the rest, which they did.
REL, on the other hand, struggled to make the routine plays. Missed grounders turned into singles and errant throws allowed runs to score.
REL’s player-coach, Travis Pietila was succinct and to the point regarding his team’s opener.
“We need work. It was not a good night for us,” he stated.
REL’s best inning was the first as they had two men in scoring position, but that was as good as it got.
Stanton scored four more in the third and five in the fifth to end this one at 15-0.
Brooks earned the win on the mound. He threw three innings and was relieved by Eli Louma. Alan Jurmu took the loss as the starter for REL.