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Wednesday August 17, 2022
Gladstone Indians Take Two In Firecracker Tourney

Click the thumbnails to see photos, videos, and interviews with Aedan Creten and Johnny Soderman.

-The Gladstone Indians American Legion baseball team won two games at the Marinette Firecracker Tournament on Saturday, turning back Manitowoc, 5-4, in eight innings, and then pulling away from Green Bay Preble, 12-0, in five innings,

The Indians improved to 2-1 in the tournament after taking a tough 5-3 loss to Watertown Friday evening. They can still win the tournament with a win and some luck on Sunday.

"These guys played some great baseball today," Indians Manager Scott Kwarciany said. "We played clean for the most part. That Manitowoc team, they are good, and they can hit the ball. That was a real nice win for us. We had some guys banged up, but thankfully this tournament has an outstanding trainer and we were able to have our guys get help between innings."

Gladstone had only nine players because some guys were at a JV tournament in Antigo, or playing ISA travel ball, or in the case of Cam Kelly, was representing Gladstone at the Upper Peninsula High School football All-Star game at the Superior Dome.

But those nine guys played hard all afternoon.

One of them was Travis Mack, who pitched against Manitowoc to start, hurt his knee, and gave way to Aedan Creten. Creten threw 44 pitches to get the Indians through the middle innings, but he was pulled so that he could also pitch later in the second game against Preble.

Mack hurt his knee, but had to tough it out the entire day. Same with Johnny Soderman, who was hit in the back with a fastball and found it tough to swing the bat for a while.

Noah Peterson came in to throw, and struggled with walks, and so late in the game, Mack returned to the mound to pitch. And he shut down the Manitowoc lineup for 1 1/3 more innings, digging deep to strike out two tough hitters.

Before Mack shut the door at the end, the Indians grabbed the lead in the top of the eighth inning when Soderman squeezed home Tyler Darmogray with the g0-ahead run.

Manitowoc's Ben Walsh smacked a two-run single to put his team in front, 3-2, in the fifth inning, but Creten helped his own cause with a two-run single of his own. After Manty tied the game with a sac fly, the Indians managed to get the game into extra innings and pulled out te win.

Later, the Iron Nine of the Indians played the Preble Hornets, and grabbed a 2-0 lead early as Mack doubled to the center field fence to score two runs.

And somehow, the Indians kept that lead, with Creten and reliever Casey Alworden wiggling off the hook in every inning defensively. Gladstone turned four double plays in what turned out to be a five-inning game, and the Hornets stranded the bases loaded twice.

And all of that happened wen it was still a 2-0 game. Gladstone didn't break it open until the Indians scored ten runs in a very long bottom of the fourth inning, with five of those runs coming in on bases-loaded walks as Preble ran out of pitching. Creten drove in one of the runs with an RBI hit, and Soderman smacked a two-run hit to left field.

The prettiest of the Indians double plays was turned in at a key moment by shortstop Tyler Darmogray. It was in the top of the fourth inning, in a 2-0 game, and a it batter and walk put two men  on before a wild pitch moved both Hornets into scoring position.

Hunter Barlament laced a shot toward the left field gap that certainly would have tied the game, but Darmogray dove, caught the ball, and threw to second base for the clutrch double play. Two more walks kept that inning going, but with the bases reloaded, Soderman raced to the center field fence to haul in a shot by leadoff batter Jeremy Jahnke.

That sent it to the bottom of the fourth with a 2-0 lead, and the Indians put it away in the bottom of that inning.

Gladstone is now 5-4-1 on the season, and has played all ten of those games in the past nine days. The Indians still have an outside shot of winning the Firecracker Tournament on Sunday, but will be extremely shorthanded and are depleted in the pitching department.

Gladstone will face undefeated Marinette, who the Indians split two games with at the Gregg Johnson Memorial Tournament last weekend. Marinette is 3-0 after pulling out a 7-6 win over Menominee Saturday night with a three-run bottom of the seventh inning, capped by a Alex Rupert walk-off hit. Game time Sunday is 1:00 CT/2:00 ET and it will be broadcast on FM-93.5, AM-600, and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.

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