Knights finally play ball at Marion Park

NORWAY – Playing for just the second time this season and the first at home, Norway dropped a doubleheader to Gladstone Monday at Marion Park.

The Braves, who are ranked No. 4 in the latest Division 3 coaches poll and have a dozen games played already with just one loss, took 13-0 and 4-1 decisions from the Knights.

Gladstone plated five runs in both the first and second innings to run away with the first game.

John Edwardsen shouldered the loss for Norway.

Things improved for the Knights in game two. The Braves scratched across one run in the first, but Knights starter Mike Faull settled in after that.

Alex Carlson took over in the third and continued to deny the Braves. He was helped by a couple of nice defensive plays. Garrett Bonetti hauled in a deep drive to right, backing hard into the fence as he made the grab. Third baseman Kevin Evosevich ended the frame by snagging a hard-hit line drive.

Gladstone added three runs in the fourth, getting two when Christian Groleau’s sharp grounder got through on the right side of Norway’s infield.

Nick Pearman put the Knights on the board in the sixth with a grounder that scored Austin Grayvold. Grayvold led off the inning with a single and then stole second. He went to third on a drop third strike.

Norway loaded the bases in its final at-bat, but was unable to come through against Justin Jurek, who was brought in for the save.

“We played better in game two and gave ourselves a chance in the bottom of the seventh,” Norway coach Tony Adams said. “Our biggest problem right now is us. We have too many unforced errors and poor plate appearances. Some of that is the lack of games, some of that is the quality of our only opponent so far, and some of that is in our fundamentals.

“Our execution and communication have to improve. The kids have great attitudes and I expect things to improve in the next two weeks.”

Norway heads to North Central Wednesday.

Badgers split

CRIVITZ, Wis. – In a pair of tight ballgames, Niagara settled for a doubleheader split against Crivitz Monday afternoon in M&O Conference baseball.

The Badgers, despite a two-hit complete game effort from Hunter Kaldor, fell 2-1 in the first game before rallying for a 5-3 victory in game two.

Kaldor issued just two walks and struck out seven for in the opener, locked in a pitcher’s duel with Crivitz’s Tommy Sawinski who allowed just three hits and two walks while whiffing eight.

“I was really impressed with our pitching today,” Niagara coach Dean Neveau said. “We just didn’t hit the ball. We’ve got to get the bats going.”

Chris Champagne, Jake Pedrotti and Patrick Moreau delivered the only hits for the Badgers.

The Wolverines scored both of their runs in the third thanks to a two-run single by Sawinski.

In game two, Pedrotti went the distance to pitch the Badgers to victory, allowing five hits, four walks while fanning eight.

The Wolverines struck first with three runs in the bottom of the third, but the Badgers answered with three in the fourth.

Kaldor got on in the top of fourth with one-out single. That was followed by a Pedrotti walk. Both runners advanced on a passed ball before Moreau drove them home with a double deep to left.

Two more Niagara runs came in during the seventh to break the stalemate.

Champagne and Kaldor both reached with singles, and Moreau drove them in with another single.

Champagne finished with three singles and a run. Kaldor was 2-for-4 with two runs, and Moreau was 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Ethan Blagec went 1-for-1 with three walks.

Jake Sawinski shouldered the loss for the Wolverines. Spencer Schwartz was 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the Wolverines.

Niagara is scheduled to host Peshtigo Thursday.