By SCOTT CHURCH
EUP News Sports Editor
SAULT STE. MARIE – The Eastern Upper Peninsula Post 3 Travelers swept a doubleheader from the Newberry post on Wednesday, posting wins of 6-2and 13-3. The wins make it three in a row for the Travelers.
In the opener, Tyler Kirkland had a pair of hits to spark the Travelers. He led off the game with a triple to right-center and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brady VanSloten.
The game was tied 1-1 after the first inning, but didn’t stay that way for long as the EUP squad put up two runs in their half of the second as Todd Hecht led off with a double and scored on a two-out single by Jake Harrison.
The Travelers broke the game open in the fourth inning, pushing across three more runs and making it easy for Harrison who started on the mound. He threw a complete game and allowed just two hits. He walked three and struck out six.
VanSloten drove in two runs in the victory, while Harrison and Lucas Krupa each drove in one. Krupa had a pair of hits in the win. Todd Hecht and Addison Kennedy had doubles.
In the second game against Newberry, The Travelers put 10 runs over the first two innings with a six-run first, and a four-run second.
Krupa had three hits in the win, while Harrison and Frank Bailey had two each. Hecht, Harrison, Krupa, and Tyler Kirkland each had a double for the EUP. Kirkland, VanSloten, Tyler Wilson, Devon Dear, Krupa, Hecht, Harrison, Frank Bailey, and Mike James all drove in a run as the Traveler offense showed off its depth. Bailey took the win on the mound. He went all five innings in the run-rule affair, allowing six hits and three runs. He walked two and struck out five.
On Tuesday, the Travelers were on the road in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., to take on the Black Sox and earned a 14-9 run in a slugfest that started the three game win streak for the Travelers.
The EUP squad put up five runs in the first inning and led 8-0 before the Black Sox came back with five runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Travelers quickly quelled the uprising though, with six runs in the top of the sixth. The Canadians put up four runs in their half, but it was too little, too late.
VanSloten had three hits to lead the Travelers in the win, while Wilson, Dear, Krupa, and Hecht all notched two hits each. Wilson, Dear, and Krupa all doubled, while Krupa also recorded a triple along with VanSloten and Hecht.
Hecht drove in three runs, while Krupa and Kennedy drove in a pair. Wilson, Dear, James Rosebrock, and Harrison all added solo RBIs.
The Travelers used a variety of pitchers in the game as Jared Clark picked up the win. He went three innings and allowed one hit while walking four and striking out three. He was relieved by James, who went 1 2/3 innings. He gave up five runs on one hit. He walked four and fanned two. VanSloten finished up for Post 3, going 2 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs on three hits and four walks. He retired six Black Sox on strikes.
“We got some kids some work on the mound that haven’t pitched in a while,” said coach Billy Mitchell. They scored 9 runs and only had 5 hits, that means we need to get some of these guys more work on the mound.”
Mitchell was also pleased with his team’s offensive output over the last couple of days.
“I was very happy with the way we hit the ball last night”, he said. “Krupa & Dear are finding their swings again. Our team is going to be able to go 1 through 9 and have everybody able to hit. My 9 hitter last weekend is leading the team in batting average. It’s an excellent problem to have.”
The Travelers, 14-11, will be in Mancelona on Saturday.