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Gremlins sweep Patriots in doubleheader



Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette
Houghton’s third baseman Brycyn Nettell stops a ball and steps on third for a force out in a game against Westwood at Houghton High School.

HOUGHTON — What a difference a day makes.

On Monday, the Houghton Gremlins baseball team opened up their 2024 season under bright skies and warm weather. A day later, it felt like late-October football weather – overcast, cold and a wicked breeze coming in from the South. While they was not ideal conditions for baseball, the Gremlins were able to play their game and beat the Westwood Patriots 12-2 and 7-6 to earn their first two wins of the season.

“Despite the cold weather, the boys stayed focused, and that was huge,” noted Gremlins coach Kevin Bostwick.

That focus started in the bottom of the first inning of the first game. After the Patriots posted two runs, the Gremlins plated 11. The Houghton squad went through the lineup with big hits coming from Hudson Markham, Eli Heathman and Brycyn Nettell.

Joel Durocher was on the mound for the Gremlins and threw strikes while his teammates made the plays, holding Westwood to the pair of runs scored in the first.

In fact, the right-hander helped his own cause with a bottom-of-the-fifth RBI single that allowed Ethan Hainault to cross home in walk-off fashion. That run put the Gremlins (2-1) up by 10 and ended the first game.

After a brief intermission and a chance to warm up — sort of, Game Two got underway with a similar feel. The Patriots (0-6) again opened with a one-run lead but the Gremlins tied in the bottom of the first. They then took a 2-1 lead thanks to a single by Henry Switzer who later scored.

However, Westwood came back and countered with a two-run third and fourth frame to take a 5-2 lead, albeit briefly. Westwood got caught in a bad defensive inning in the fourth, similar to the first inning of Game One.

In that frame, the Gremlins scored four thanks to a double by Davis Moyle and some walks and errors committed by the Patriots.

The Gremlins were now up 6-5.

“We are a work in progress,” said Westwood coach Jason Salmi. “We haven’t been out on our field for practice but once, and that is hard. Those two innings where we gave up lots of runs really hurt us.”

However, give the Patriots credit as they bounced back to tie this one in the top of the sixth and send it into extra innings.

But the Gremlins ended it in the seventh with singles by Bryce Pugh and Markham and another walk off. This time, it was single up the middle hit by Switzer who made it a 7-6 final.

“I liked how we got contributions from a lot of different guys today,” added Bostwick. “That will be key for us this season.”

Up Next

The Gremlins head to Kingsford this afternoon for a doubleheader against the Flivvers.

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