MIDLAND – The Thunder battled through seven games this weekend to finish second in the 2020 Saginaw Valley State University Great Lakes Super Select Pastime Tournament. Thirty teams converged on the Tri Cities for the tournament that was divided into six five-team pools. Gladwin won its pool with a 4-0 record and was seeded second for the championship round based upon its +22 run differential in pool play.
Gladwin opened tournament play of Thursday morning taking a 4-1 victory over the 131’s, a team from the Traverse City area. Reed Raymond got the start and win for the Thunder going six innings giving up three hits and one run. Trent Reed led the Thunder with two hits and an RBI. Carson Oldani picked up two RBI’s with a second inning double.
Game two saw the Thunder trailing early before four run outbursts in both the fifth and sixth innings sealed a 10-3 win. The big blow in the fifth inning was a three run homer off the bat of Hunter Merillat. Five hits, including four doubles, in the sixth inning led to four more Gladwin runs. Jarrett Inscho had three hits and three RBIs in the game Raymond also had three hits. The Thunder used four pitchers in the game with Merillat getting the victory in relief.
The Thunder got a dominant performance from Jarret Inscho in game three on Friday night. He threw five innings of no hit ball in Gladwin’s 9-0 win over the Michigan Premier. Dane Smitz led the offense with two hits and three RBIs. The final game in pool play was a rematch with the 131’s. Isaac Morrison hit Gladwins second homerun of the weekend a three run shot in the top of the seventh. Trent Reed had his second two hit game of the weekend collecting hits in the second and seventh innings. Lane Peters got the start and win. Ethan Shea and Merillat both saw time on the mound in relief.
Jet Box provided the competition in the first championship round game on Sunday morning. Gladwin jumped out to a 7-0 lead after two innings and with starting pitcher Hunter Merrilat holding Jet Box scoreless until the sixth the game was never in doubt. Five hits, including three straight singles in the second, led to six Gladwin runs. Oldani had two hits for Gladwin and Inscho knocked in two runs. With the 7-2 win Gladwin moved on to face the Capital City Kings in the semifinals.
Gladwin jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead after two innings in their contest with the Kings before six straight Kings runs tied the game. The game remained tight and the Thunder found themselves trailing by one entering the bottom of the sixth. Four straight hits led to five runs giving Gladwin a 16-12 lead. Owen Franklin pitched a scoreless seventh inning to propel Gladwin to the championship game.
Reed Raymond had four hits in the game Chase Raymond added three. Merillat had his eighth homerun of the season, a two run shot in the second inning. Dane Smitz got the Thunder off to a great start when he led off the first inning with a solo homerun. This was the first homerun of the year for Smitz.
The Michigan Selects proved to be too much for the Thunder in the championship game on Sunday evening winning by a score of 15-1. Six of the first seven batters reached base for the Selects as they raced out to a 5-0 lead. Gladwin got on the board with a single run in the top of the second inning before the Selects scored six more runs in the bottom of the inning. Four more runs in the bottom of the third had the Selects up 15-1. The game came to an end when the Thunder failed to score in the top of the fourth.
The Thunder are 25-5 on the season before playing a pair of games in Saginaw last night against the Midland Tribe. They travel to Grand Rapids on Thursday for a 6 p.m. game against the Elite A’s at Calvin College.