GLADSTONE, Mich. (WJMN) – For the Gladstone Baseball Team, winning has become a habit.
“At the beginning of the season for me, I set three goals for the team: It was one, we get a win against Esky(Escanaba), which we got one. Then we win districts. We did that and the kids having fun. Right now, they’re having all the fun in the world,” said Lucas Lacosse, the Manager for the Gladstone Braves. “Anything more than this is great and I want them to keep going.”
“It feels awesome because there is a winning culture around here,” said Ryan Polley, a senior left-fielder for the Braves. “It feels good to be able to keep that going, especially we had a rocky start. So, to pick it up at the right time and to be able to keep that going feels good.”
The Braves will look to keep the good times rolling Wednesday when they take on Iron Mountain in the regional semifinals. This will be the second meeting between the schools this season.
“Our first game against them was a good game,” said Lacosse. “We had quite a bit of errors and I think they had some errors. Ultimately, it ended up us winning 11-10 in walk-off fashion at the end. I expect that we play a lot better this time. Last week in districts, I think it was our championship game, we had zero errors. If we keep playing like that the rest of the season, I think we’ll be a really tough team to beat.”
“I think they were tough the first time we played them and I think we’ve played a lot better since then,” said Mason LaChance, a senior who plays multiple positions for the Braves. “So, I think we should be able to come out on top in the is game, too. I know they’ve been playing better, too, so we’ll find out.”
For the Braves players, the opportunity to play postseason baseball again is a long time coming. They had their season stripped from them last year due to Covid-19.
“Last year it was a struggle going through it,” said LaChance. “We weren’t sure if we were even going to have it. Then it got cut but luckily we were able to have our summer league, so that was nice. But it would have been really nice to have that one more year of high school ball.”
“I think last year we would have been a really solid team and had the ability to make a good run,” said Polley. “So, just putting ourselves back in that position to make another run again feels good.”
“There’s good team morale at this point right now,” said Lacosse. “Everybody picks each other up. There is no negativity. Everybody is being a good teammate. From my freshman all the way up to my seniors, it’s level across the board and it’s great to see. This team loves the game and they love to play it right. Winning districts and continuing to win means a lot to them.”
The regional semifinal game between Gladstone and Iron Mountain will take place Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. EST in Houghton.
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