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Monday February 26, 2024
Mountaineers Win Unlikely Baseball District Title

NEGAUNEE---The Iron Mountain High School baseball team suffered through a rough regular season this spring, winning just two games all season, and taking some tough losses in the final innings in games they deserved to win.


They've been inconsistent, made too many errors, didn't get the clutch base hits.


But the playoffs are a weird time, where the Mountaineers' 2-15-1 record meant nothing when they journeyed to Negaunee on Saturday for the MHSAA Division Three district tournament. And, by golly, the Mountaineers left Iron Town Field with some hardware.


The Mountaineers beat Calumet, 3-1, in the district semifinals, and then turned back Negaunee in the championship game, 4-1. Talk about putting it together at the right time.


Carson McLean had his best outing of the season in the semifinals, striking out 12 Copper King batters, out-dueling Calumet's Brayden Cima, who allowed only four hits.


Both teams made five errors in the game, but Iron Mountain managed to take advantage when Niko Burgoon smacked a two-run single in the third inning to give his team a 3-0 lead. McLean was on target, allowing only three hits and issuing no walks.


And then in the championship game, it was Burgoon who carried the Mountaineers, with his best pitching performance of the year. He struck out ten Miners batters and did not walk anyone, allowing only four hits. Burgoon reached his pitch count limit with one out in the seventh inning and needed Evan Mendini to finish things up.


Iron Mountain's big inning was the fifth, when McLean led off with a triple and scored on a single by Evan Haferkorn, making it a 2-0 IM lead. Three straight Negaunee errors scored the other two runs for the Mountaineers, making it 4-0.


The first run of the game came in on a Burgoon sacrifice fly in the first inning.


The Mountaineers now move on to the regional semifinals on Wednesday in Gladstone. Game time is 3:00 CT/4:00 ET. Listen on FM-94.3 in Iron Mountain, FM-93.5/AM-600 in Gladstone, and on-line anywhere at www.rrnsports.com.

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