Garnet Garage adds another title to near-perfect season

Members of Garnet Garage congratulate each other on Sunday after downing the Marquette County Mavericks 8-4 in Stanton for the Upper Peninsula Men’s Baseball Championship. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

STANTON — For the unsuspecting fan in the stands at the Upper Peninsula’s Men’s Baseball Championship in Stanton on Sunday, it would have been hard to tell that the nine men on the field for Garnet Garage had not played together in close to a month. Their last game was in mid-August and was a Twilight League Championship Game win. On Sunday, they picked up right where they left off and downed the Marquette Mavericks for the Upper Peninsula’s Men’s Baseball Championship, 8-6.

The Mavericks were the winners of the Superiorland Baseball League based in the Marquette area. Interestingly, both teams had just one loss in the respective league play over the past summer, and it was evident in the back-and-forth matchup that ensued on the diamond in Stanton.

Garnet Garage’s victory was one that followed a well-worn map – one that earned them the Leo Durocher trophy and a first-place finish atop the Twilight League.

“Good defense, timely hitting and strong pitching has been the key to our success all year,” said Garnet Garage’s player-coach Kevin Bostwick. “We did it here again today.”

With Coy Budweg on the mound for Garnet Garage, and Jeff Krejcik pitching for the Marquette squad, the game opened with two scoreless innings. Then both teams strung hits together to make it a 1-1 tie in the third.

Garnet Garage took the lead in the fifth after Bostwick was hit by a pitch and made it home on a Brent Loukus single. However, their 2-1 lead was a short-lived one as Marquette plated three runs in the sixth and took their first lead of the day at 4-2.

A walk in that frame to first baseman Jason Adriano was followed by a single by Sam Prentice and another walk to Krejcik. Bases were loaded, and all three runners scored thanks to hits by shortstop Chris Atkins and Doug Turnball. The Mavericks had their first lead at 4-2 headed into the seventh inning.

It didn’t last long as Garnet Garage kept to their “roadmap” in the top of the seventh and posted three runs. Bostwick scored his second run of the game as would Reed Heathman, who reached on a walk, and catcher Mike Saari, who had an RBI base hit. Garnet Garage suddenly led 5-4.

Budweg went the distance in this nine-inning matchup, striking out seven and walking just three. He shut down Marquette in the seventh and eighth, allowing only one man to get to first. Meanwhile, Garnet Garage added one more run in the eighth and two more in the ninth to make it an four-run hill to climb for the Mavericks in their last at bat.

While back-to-back singles, and a fielder’s choice, in the bottom of the ninth did lead to Adriano and catcher Will Sharp scoring, it proved to be too little too late.

“It was a great game,” said Maverick’s player-coach James Larsen. “The better team won today, hats off to them.”

With another diadem in their summer of winning, Bostwick summed up Garnet Garage’s accomplishments quite simply.

“It was a great season,” he said. “We had a lot of fun and hope to be as strong next year.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today