Calumet sweeps Lake Linden-Hubbell despite weather

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Caleb Klein rounds third to score during the first game of a doubleheader with Calumet at Dollar Bay Field. The Copper Kings won both games.

DOLLAR BAY — Timely hitting came through once again for the Calumet Copper Kings as they climbed their way to a 10-9 come-from-behind victory against the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes Wednesday in the opening of a doubleheader. They also took the nightcap by mercy, 9-2.

Headed into the sixth inning of the first game, the Copper Kings were commanding a 7-5 lead behind their starting pitcher Dan Tarnowski. However, the Lakes were not ready to surrender. After a William Lyons fly out to short, right fielder Brandon LaVigne stepped up to the plate and tagged a pitch up the middle for a single. Third baseman Jessie Hill was then hit in the arm by a pitch and headed to first.

Pitcher Cole Gregoire then brought in a run with a base hit through the right side of the infield. Next up was catcher Caleb Klein, who tied the game with an RBI line drive to right field.

Second baseman Alex Mahrley then put the Lakes up by two with a bases-clearing double off the fence in left field.

Now with a 9-7 lead, it was the Lakes’ game to win. They just needed three outs but they could not get them. An error, a walk and a double by Tarnowski tied the game at nine.

Trevor Hendrickson then got with a hard hit ball past the Lakes third baseman. Shortstop Dean Loukus walked and Isaac Bennetts got to first on a fielder’s choice. The bases were loaded for center fielder Sam Erkkila, and he delivered with a sacrifice fly to center which brought in Hendrickson on the tag up and the Copper Kings took their final lead of the game, 10-9.

“Today we did have some nice timely hitting,” said Calumet manager David Yeo. “Even our outs were hard hit balls. It was good to see.”

Due to the cold and dreary weather, the two teams decided to just play a three-inning second game. Lake Linden coach Andy Crouch used the opportunity to try out three new pitchers in the shorter game. Mahrley, Lyons and Hill each made their debut with an inning a piece.

“I thought they did well,” said Crouch. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained. This gave our regular starters some rest for districts next week.”

While the Lakes pitchers were hit hard, none of them gave up more than two walks in their debuts. Lyons struck out the first batter he faced, Loukus, much to the amusement of his teammates.

After three innings, the Copper Kings had the nine runs to earn the win.

“We are a work in progress,” said Crouch. “I was very pleased with the four-run sixth inning in the first game as we had some good hits. We are definitely improving and having fun.”

The Lakes will face Ironwood in district play on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Copper Kings will make up a game in L’Anse on Tuesday, and then they are off to Neguanee later in the week for districts.

“We are looking forward to districts,” said Yeo. “I think we are ready.”