Legion baseball: Marquette Blues take three of four from Newberry in weekend doubleheaders

MARQUETTE – The Marquette Blues American Legion baseball team took three of four games over the weekend against Newberry.

The Blues swept a home doubleheader on Sunday in Marquette, 12-6 and 11-7. In Newberry on Saturday, Marquette rebounded from a 4-0 loss in Game 1 to win Game 2, 11-1.

“Winning three out of four from Newberry on the weekend was a good shot in the arm for this team. Newberry is good ball team who will surprise a few teams this year,” said Blues manager Derek Swajanen.

“We have a lot of games in the next 10-12 days, so hopefully these things will start falling in to place.”

In the Game 1, 12-6 win on Sunday, Blues starting pitcher Colin O’Neal gave up six hits and five walks while accumulating six strikeouts in a complete-game win.

Ryan Hanson, Hunter Larson and Luke Swajanen each had a pair of hits for Marquette with Hanson driving in five runs. Larson and Levi Underwood each had two RBIs.

“We did a good job pounding the ball around again in this game,” said Derek Swajanen. “Hanson’s five RBIs were a real big boost for us today. We were missing a few of our players and guys had to bat in different spots in the batting order and did a nice job of stepping up. O’Neal was a little rusty early on, but settled in and finished the game nicely.”

Marquette finished with 10 hits in its Game 2, 11-7 win.

Trevor Bratonia and Ryan Walther each had two hits in the weekend finale with Bratonia adding two RBIs as well.

Luke Swajanen got the start, but only lasted three and a third innings after Newberry scored five runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 6-6. Swajanen, who finished with five hits, seven walks and three strikeouts, was relieved by Bratonia. He finished with three hits, four walks and six strikeouts.

“We did a much better job of scoring runs when we were supposed to in this game,” Derek Swajanen said. “Pitching wise, I wasn’t real happy as we need to do a better job of pounding the strike zone, but that will come once we start getting into a regular schedule.”

In Saturday’s 4-0 loss at Newberry, Marquette was held to just two hits.

Hanson got the start on the mound for Marquette and only gave up three hits with nine strikeouts, however, he gave up seven walks to go along with the Blues’ four errors.

“We weren’t ready to play when we got there,” Swajanen said. “That was a concern I had after playing the Reds on Friday and it really showed. We weren’t sharp offensively or defensively and it cost us this game. Most of our losses this year we have beaten ourselves with either sloppy pitching or sloppy fielding.”

Marquette used 11 hits to produce its 11 runs in the Game 2 win at Newberry.

Riley Lynch, who was also the starting pitcher, drove in three runs on one hit while Larson drove in two runs on two hits. McKinley Larson, Bratonia and Underwood also each had two hits for the Blues.

“In the second game, Riley Lynch threw a gem,” Swajanen said. “He went the complete game and was very efficient with his pitching. We also had a little pep talk between games and our hitting was much more disciplined.”

Marquette improved to 13-8 with the three wins.

Up next, Marquette plays at Kingsford on Tuesday, hosts Channing in a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and plays four games in a tournament in Escanaba on Friday and Saturday.