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Menominee, Monroe roll past Iron Mountain 19U team

(Matt McCarthy/Daily News Photo) Iron Mountain 19U designated hitter Hunter McCarthy lays down a squeeze bunt in the third inning Wednesday evening at LiUNA Field in Iron Mountain.

IRON MOUNTAIN — In most baseball games an opponent with strong pitching and great hitting is definitely something to be reckoned with. Wednesday night undefeated Menominee traveled to Iron Mountain and stifled the home team by the score of 10-3 in 19U baseball at LiUNA Field.

Central Michigan University football recruit Keagan Monroe pitched for Menominee and went the distance, surrendering two earned runs in seven innings for a complete game. There were spots in the game when he walked a batter or two or allowed a couple of hits, but he kept coming at the Iron Mountain hitters throughout the game.

“Keagan is our team leader, he doesn’t get rattled and is always focused,” said Menominee manager John Lauzer. “He’s ready to go for the next hitter, no matter what just happened with the previous batter.”

Iron Mountain starting pitcher Kougar Wagner, a tall lanky left hander, struggled in the first inning, walking a couple of hitters. The IM defense committed two errors in the inning as well.

Behind RBI singles from Keaton Uecke and Austin Burnside, the visitors led 3-0 going into the home half of the opening inning.

Iron Mountain came out swinging trying to make up the three-run deficit they faced, with Sawyer Pugh sacrifice bunting C.J Bolo over to second base after Bolo led off the inning with a single. Designated hitter Hunter McCarthy drove in Bolo with an RBI single, to shave the Menominee lead to 3-1.

In the bottom half of the third inning, Iron Mountain loaded the bases, with McCarthy coming to bat. IM head coach and third base coach Paul Julian called for a suicide squeeze bunt.

McCarthy laid down a bunt, Menominee catcher Braeden McMahon fielded the ball and went back to step on home plate. Home plate umpire Dean LaFave called all runners safe, because McMahon didn’t step on home plate. Credit McCarthy with another RBI and Iron Mountain made it a one-run game at 3-2.

Julian, in regards to having his power-hitting DH suicide squeeze with the bases loaded in a two-run game, said, “Bad idea! Hunter (McCarthy) has been hitting the socks off the ball lately, and why I chose not to have him swing away is beyond me. At least we got a run out of it.”

With two outs in the top of the fourth, Wagner gave up back to back solo home runs to Menominee’s top of the batting order. Lead off hitter Andrew Schroeder cleared the fence in left-center field. A couple of pitches later, Jaden Werner hit one out of the park in almost the same left-center field spot.

Later in the same half of inning No. 4, Uecke recorded his second RBI single of the game, to put Menominee ahead 6-2.

“Our bats are always very lively it seems. Our No. 1 and No. 2 hitters get on base, but can also hit for power,” Lauzer said.

A lead off double for Iron Mountain’s Caleb Evosevich-Hynes turned into a run for the home team. Evosevich-Hynes advanced to third and ended up scoring on Monroe’s throwing error on a pick-off attempt, as the Menominee centerfielder committed a throwing error on the play as well.

Menominee loaded the bases in the top of the fifth inning on back to back singles, and then Werner was hit by a pitch. Monroe was the next Menominee batter, and he cleared the bases with a three-RBI double, to put his team ahead 9-3.

Monroe added an RBI single in the top half of the final inning, to seal Menominee’s 10-3 win. Iron Mountain, which slipped to 6-3 on the season, travels to Negaunee this afternoon for a doubleheader.

Menominee (8-0) is at Negaunee on Saturday, and returns home Sunday for a doubleheader with Sault Ste. Marie. Iron Mountain hosts Copper Country Flames.

Box Score:

M- 300 330 1 — 10

IM- 101 100 0 — 3

HR: M- Schroder, Werner

IM: None.

Matt McCarthy’s email is: mmccarthy@ironmountaindailynews.com

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