Gremlins take two close ones

IRONWOOD – Houghton baseball is off to a 4-0 start after a pair of close road wins in Ironwood Wednesday, 6-4 and 7-6.

Houghton got late runs in both games that proved decisive.

The Gremlins trailed 4-1 after four innings of the opener but put together five hits in the fifth inning, including Trent Keteri’s second RBI single of the game, a two-RBI single from Caleb Carlson and a Brad Ward RBI single.

Houghton added an insurance run in the sixth after Jon Bostwick reached on an error and Brad Juntunen singled him in.

Juntunen was 3-for-4, while Ward had two hits. Keteri had two hits, two RBIs and was also the winning pitcher, allowing eight hits and two walks in a complete game. He struck out seven.

In the nightcap, a seventh-inning RBI single from Justin Ruotsala drove in the winning run unearned after Ward reached on an error and Connor Hannon sacrificed him over to second. The play made a winner out of Cole Jepsen, who struck out 14 and bailed out the Houghton defense’s eight errors.

“Some of our defense showed,” Houghton coach John Bostwick said to the Daily Globe of Ironwood. “We gave them a lot of runs in both games today, but we also hit the ball very well. I think the more we practice outside, we’ll clean up some of that stuff.”

The Gremlins led 4-0 through 4 1/2 innings but surrendered the lead with the help of three errors and Jared Sobolewski’s two-RBI single.

Jepsen singled in a run and Keteri followed with a sacrifice fly to give Houghton a two-run lead only for Ironwood to come up with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Bostwick, Juntunen and Jepsen had two hits apiece and Keteri drove in two more runs.

Houghton heads to the east end this weekend for games against Newberry (Friday) and Pickford (Saturday). The Gremlins play Marquette Monday in their first home games.