The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

6-run innings carry Midgets past Diggers

 


HURLEY — Hurley scored six times in the sixth inning to put the 10-run mercy rule into effect and downed Mellen 19-9 on Monday night.

“We haven’t been getting much production from the bottom part of the line-up, but we hit tonight for the first time,” Midget coach Aaron Bender said. “I shuffled the line-up and it seemed to work. I put Kohl Manzanares further down in the line-up. Once again, we got a good pitching performance with some walks, but ultimately, errors hurt the most. We must have the lowest ERA in the country but have given up the most runs in the country.

“The kids give 100 percent, but we have poor defensive support. It’s frustrating.”

Hurley’s No. 6-9 hitters (Natalle Colassaco, Chris Rye, Josh Quello, Kohl Manzanares, and Ronnie Nickel) combined for 12 hits in 19 at-bats and scored eight runs.

Dante Bender went the distance and gave up nine runs but only four were earned as the Midgets committed six errors.

But Mellen coach Tim Polencheck stressed his team was even worse on defense.

“Defense, defense, defense, defense, defense,” he said. “Elijah (Zahovek) pitched a good game, but the defense let us down with errors (7) and mental mistakes. It’s been the same way all year.”

After both teams scored three runs in the first inning, Hurley took the lead for good in the next inning when it went ahead 5-4. Cole Huotari ripped a double down the left field line and Bender singled to center that plated Huotari. Steven Chavers drew a walk and then Mitchell Maki hit a hard single that the shortstop made an error on and Chavers came around to score.

In the third inning, the Midgets broke the game open with six runs as they sent 10 men to the plate. Quello started the rally when the third baseman made a poor throw to first base and Quello turned on the speed and made it all the way to third base.

Manzanares hit a seeing-eye single between the first and second basemen and Nickel slammed a long double to left field to score Manzanares. Huotari picked up an RBI by punching a single to center and Chavers launched a double into the gap in left-center for another run. Tandrel Foster walked and he and Chavers crossed home plate when Chris Rye singled.

Mellen stayed in the game by closing the gap to 11-8 after four innings and 13-9 through the fifth inning.

But Hurley ended the contest in the sixth inning with half-a-dozen runs by combining singles, walks and errors. Maki, Rye, Quello and Manzanares hit singles, Colt Tijan walked and Chavers reached on an error.

All six scored runs to end the game at 19-9.

Hurley pounded out 22 hits in the game. Huotari led Hurley’s hit parade with four hits in six-at-bats. Quello was 3 for 4 and Maki, Manzanares and Nickel were 3 for 5 and scored multiple times. Rye entered the game in the third inning and looked good going 2 for 2. Chavers was 2 for 3 and was on base five times.

The Granite Diggers were led by Kaden Jones and Colton Nelmark both having 2 for 3 performances at the plate.

Zahovek threw five and one-third innings and surrendered 16 runs (8 earned). He walked four and notched five Ks.

Dante Bender picked up the win going all six innings and scattering seven hits, while walking four and whiffing five Granite Diggers.

Aaron Bender said that since the first game of the doubleheader ended so late, the second game would be made up at a later date.

Hurley (3-6, 2-1 IC) hosts Solon Springs on Friday with the first pitch at 4:30.

Mellen 3 1 3 1 1 0 — 9 7 7

Hurley 3 2 6 0 2 6 — 19 22 6

Saturday

PHILLIPS, Wis. —Hurley lost an important game for postseason season Saturday at Phillips.

The Loggers defeated Hurley 3-1 in a game that will likely haunt the Midgets at the seeding meeting for the WIAA Division 3 regional tournament. Hurley also lost to regional team Chequamegon this season, but those two teams square off again next month.

“It will be a tough road to get a home game,” Hurley manager Aaron Bender said.

Phillips scored three runs in the bottom of fourth thanks to a pair of Hurley errors.

Hurley missed an opportunity to score in the third as Ronnie Nickel led off with a double, but a poor bunt led to a double play.

Hurley scored its run in the top of the seventh while down 3-0. Cole Huotari was hit by a pitch and he later scored on a hit by Mitchell Maki. The Midgets’ bats were cold otherwise with just four hits after going eight days without playing thanks to poor weather conditions.

Maki took the loss while going all six innings. He struck out six, while allowing four walks, seven hits and three runs, none of which were earned.

“It is very frustrating as a coach, and even as a team to lose games when pitchers are doing their jobs,” Bender said. “The players have to decide whether they want it more than the other team and right now other teams are just driven more than we are.”

Washburn beat Hurley 10-8 in the day’s next game. Washburn had to end the game after five innings because of other commitments. Hurley was starting to hit the ball better later in the game.

Kohl Manzanares started and Cole Huotari finished it on the mound.

Nickel went 2 for 3 with another double with Maki doing the same. Huotari had a triple.

The Midgets committed nine errors Saturday.

 
 

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