Legion baseball: Gladstone crushes Ishpeming Blue Storm 14-0

GLADSTONE – The Gladstone Indians didn’t need much time to gain the upper hand in Tuesday night’s American Legion baseball game as they romped past the Ishpeming Blue Storm 14-0 in five innings.

Gladstone (17-12-1), taking advantage of three walks, scored three times in the first.

Cody Frazier’s double to leftfield provided the Indians with their first two runs and Hayden Hardwick’s single to left made it 3-0 in the opening frame.

The Indians, who also left the bases loaded in the first, raised the count to 4-0 in the second on Hardwick’s double to left.

Hardwick finished 3-for-3 by adding an RBI single to center in a five-run third and drawing a walk in the fourth, when the Indians put up another five-spot.

Frazer, who finished with two hits, added a two-run double to left in the fourth.

“We started hitting line drives instead of flyballs,” said Indans’ manager Jim Groleau. “We also took advantage of a few walks. They were playing some solid defense. We knew we had to hit the ball.”

The Indians, who host Escanaba tonight at 6 p.m., collected 10 hits and stole seven bases in Tuesday’s game. They also took advantage of four errors, 10 walks and a hit batsman.

“We knew we could run tonight,” said Groleau. “We gave some kids the green light to steal on their own and they took advantage of the situation.”

Christian Groleau, who’s battling a left knee problem, took the win. He tossed a three-hitter, struck out four and walked one through four innings.

Lucas LaCosse, the Indians’ closer, came in from rightfield in the fifth and retired the Blue Storm in order.

“Christian got cleared to play today and we wanted to see how his knee would react to pitching,” said manager Groleau. “It looks like he came through it all right. Lucas doesn’t walk anybody. He throws strikes and makes the other team put the ball in play.”

Ishpeming’s Connor Hanlon, who pitched the first three innings, absorbed the loss. He fanned one, walked seven and allowed nine runs on six hits.

Gunner Meyer had Ishpeming’s lone extra base hit, a double to right in the fourth.

“We had a long weekend in Marinette (Firecracker tournament), and used a lot of arms,” said Ishpeming manager Sawyer Fisher. “This is Connor’s first year. We wanted to see how far he could go. We just didn’t hit the ball. Walks and errors also hurt us.”

Ishpeming resumes by visiting the Marquette Blues on Thursday at 10 a.m.