2017-06-15 / Sports

Snowbirds top Lakers in slugfest, win regional

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


GLEN LAKE senior Jared Jackson, who is pictured pitching against St. Mary in the district final on June 3, struck out 10 batters Saturday as the Lakers registered a 4-3 regional semifinal win over Onaway in Rogers City. GLEN LAKE senior Jared Jackson, who is pictured pitching against St. Mary in the district final on June 3, struck out 10 batters Saturday as the Lakers registered a 4-3 regional semifinal win over Onaway in Rogers City. A fourth straight 30-win season ended too soon for coach Kris Herman and the Glen Lake baseball team over the weekend.

A late rally wasn’t enough in Rogers City on Saturday as the Lakers lost to Gaylord St. Mary 13-10 in the regional title game. Glen Lake loaded the bases and scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning before ending the season with runners on first and third.

“In some sports, if you are down by a lot with two minutes left, you can start bracing yourself for the end,” Herman said. “In baseball, you don’t allow yourself to think about it.

“If you still have one out left, you still have a chance to come back, and your whole mindset is to fight and get it done. Then, it just ends. The sacrifices, the joy, the seniors—all of that hits you in an instant, and it’s really difficult. I have great admiration for this team, and I’m going to miss them.”

The Lakers (32-8) advanced to the regional final earlier in the day after an impressive pitching performance from senior Jared Jackson. Jackson scattered six hits and one walk over seven innings while striking out 10 as the Lakers outlasted Onaway 4-3.

Nick Apsey pulled through at the plate, supplying a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning. Brandon Tremble drove in the other runs with a two-RBI double in the top of the fourth.

The regional final was anything but a pitchers’ duel, however.

Glen Lake bats showed up against all-state pitcher Nick Torsky and the Snowbirds but, for the second straight season, defensive miscues proved costly in a regional final defeat.

Cade Peterson provided a two-RBI single in the bottom of the first inning and a two-run home run in the bottom of the third to put Glen Lake up 4-3, but it was all Gaylord St. Mary from there.

The Snowbirds led off the fourth inning with back-to-back doubles, reached on a walk and added two more singles to snatch a 7-4 lead.

Then, in the fifth inning, St. Mary took over. A Glen Lake error, three consecutive St. Mary singles and two beamed batters led to a five-run outburst and a 12-4 Snowbirds lead.

Glen Lake made it 12-6 in the bottom of the fifth and 12-7 in the bottom of the sixth, however, to set up a thrilling finish in the seventh.

The Lakers started the rally with with a Joey Fosmore single, a Wesley Peplinski double and an Apsey walk to load the bases for Jackson, who scored courtesy runner Josh Zientek with a walk. Peterson then singled to score Peplinski and Fosmore, but that was it.

The rally fell three runs short.

“Baseball has no clock,” Herman said. “When you fall behind, you have all the time you need to come back. It’s just a matter of whether or not you are willing to be mentally tough enough to grind out at-bats and keep banging away at the wall until it breaks.

“These guys have been willing to do that all season long, and they dug deep again to come back. It was just a little too much to overcome this time.”

Peterson finished with four hits and six RBI while Apsey, Fosmore and Tremble had two hits apiece.

Herman was proud of the effort.

“This team has come so far from when we started 4-3,” he said. “They had constant challenges thrown at them, and they forged ahead every time. It’s a special group of kids who are on their way to doing great things in life, in part because of the lessons that they taught themselves this year.”

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