BESSEMER — The Tomahawk Cubs broke open a pitchers' duel by scoring nine of their 10 runs in the final three innings and overcame the Gogebic Rangers 10-4 at Massie Field on Friday night.
"Up until the fifth inning, it was a 1-0 game," Tomahawk manager Jeff Shifts said. "Our pitcher (Brandon Vecchio) did a very nice job tonight. He's only going to be a sophomore this fall, but he has a lot of composure. He's moves the ball inside and out and threw a lot of first strikes and kept them off-balance."
Gogebic's starting pitcher Andrew Peterson was mowing down the Cubs quite efficiently as he blanked Tomahawk for four innings on one hit. Peterson "tweaked" his lower back during basketball season and although he said the back is still "annoying," his pitching was not.
"I thought I pitched pretty good," Peterson said. "My pitches were hitting their marks throughout the night and I had good control. My fastball and curveball were working most of the time. I've pitched and practiced a lot with my dad."
But in the fifth inning, things began to unravel for the Rangers.
Ahead 1-0, Tomahawk's catcher, Jake Borchardt, singled and stole second. The throw to second by Gogebic's catcher sailed into centerfield and Borchardt sprinted to third base. Tomahawk's Dakota Thompson beat out a good bunt that also plated Borchardt.
Tomahawk would bat around in the inning and score three more runs (two unearned) to take a 5-1 lead. The Cubs swatted three singles, but Gogebic's defense, which had been flashing the leather in the earlier innings and helping Peterson out, made three costly errors.
"Their defense gave up some runs in that inning," Shifts said. "And we had to play a little small ball to get guys around. They have no real high school program, so they're a raw team, but they keep playing hard and just have to keep after it."
The Rangers committed six errors in the game and Tomahawk sent eight more batters to the plate in the sixth inning. They scored two more times and took a commanding 7-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Gogebic had trouble getting the sticks going and scoring runs and Mick Lane, who was filling in with Jerry Cossi as the managers, said it's been that way for awhile.
"We actually pitch good and our fielding is usually pretty good," Mick Lane said."If we hit the ball we'd be fine, but we don't. We're very erratic in our hitting."
Lane's point was confirmed in the game statistics. For the first six innings, the Rangers punched out six hits and had men on base but could not bring a run across.
Down 10-0 in the final inning, Eric Lane walked, Ryan Hemming was hit by a pitch and Pat Libertoski singled in Lane. Brad Peterson laced a two-RBI single and after Randy Hemming was safe on a fielder's choice, he later scored on a wild pitch. Four runs in one inning after being shutout for the first six.
Ryan Hemming led Gogebic's hitting attack by going 2 for 2, while Randy Hemming was 2-3 with a double. Brad Peterson added two hits.
Borchardt was 3-4 and scored three times and Andrew Olson went 2-4 with three RBIs.
Vecchio took the win and tossed a gem in his six innings of work. He blanked the Rangers on five hits, while walking two and whiffing six.
Andrew Peterson went the distance, giving up 10 runs (seven unearned) on 10 hits. He didn't walk a batter and punched out five Cubs on strikes.
The Rangers play a doubleheader at Massie Field on Tuesday against Minocqua starting at 5:30 p.m.