Bulldogs baseball sweeps undermanned Gladiators Monday

HANCOCK — The Ontonagon Gladiators baseball team came into Monday evening’s matchup with the Hancock Bulldogs undermanned due to a track meet, and the Bulldogs took advantage of the situation, scoring seven runs in the second inning of the opening game en route to a 14-1 win. In the nightcap, the Bulldogs scored early and again late to win, 4-3, at the Hancock Driving Park.

With the wins, the Bulldogs improved to 19-5 on the season.

Hancock got things started in the first game with a lead off walk from Benny Keranen in the bottom half of the first inning. Keranen advanced to second on a defensive error and was then moved to third when Ned Larson grounded out. Zach Geborkoff then laid down a bunt, which gave Keranen a chance to score. Geborkoff also got safely to first on the play. Bryce Hanner followed with a ground ball. A defensive error allowed him to get to first, and Geborkoff scored on the play.

Todd Kilpela reached on an error, but was eventually caught stealing. Caleb Isaacson reached on an error, and Hanner scored on the play to give Hancock a 3-0 lead.

After Ontonagon got a run back in the top of the second, the Bulldogs’ offense got back to work.

Saku Cunard drew a lead off walk. Alex Pietila reached first on an error after laying down a bunt. Keranen then walked, which loaded the bases. Larson singled to left field, which scored Pietila and Keranen.

Geborkoff struck out next, but he reached first on a dropped third strike. Hanner then singled to left field, which scored Larson. Geborkoff stole home to put Hancock up 8-1 while Kilpela was at the plate. After he grounded out, Isaacson walked, but not before Hanner scored on a defensive error

Cunard then singled to center field. Pietila followed with a pop out, but not before Isaacson scored on a defensive error.

In the bottom of the third, Hancock’s offense was back at it. After a Keranen lead off walk, Larson singled to right field, knocking Keranen home. Geborkoff walked and Hanner followed with a single to center field. Larson scored on the play as well.

Kilpela then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Geborkoff. Isaacson followed with a sacrifice fly of his own to center, scoring Hanner and giving Hancock the 13-run advantage they finished with.

Larson pitched a gem for the Bulldogs as well. He went four innings, striking out three, walking just two while giving up just three hits.

The Gladiators jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the second game, but Hancock answered back quickly.

Geborkoff laid down a one-out bunt and he reached first on the play. Hanner followed with a walk. Cunard then doubled to left field, scoring both runners on the play.

The game remained 2-2 until the top of the sixth, when the Gladiators regained the lead just before the Bulldogs recorded the third out.

In the bottom half of the inning, Hancock rallied. Cunard got things started by getting on base after getting hit with a pitch to lead off. Luke Mikkola then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Cunard to second. Issacson followed with a ground ball to left field. Pietila then hit a ground ball that should have resulted in an out, however he reached on an error to keep things going. Cunard scored on the play to even the game at 3-3.

With the winning run at third in Isaacson, Braydon Larson came to the plate. On the first pitch to Larson, the ball bounced away from home plate, allowing Pietila to score, ending the game.

Kilpela went six innings on the mound for the Bulldogs, striking out five, walking four and giving up five hits.


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