Eskymos get revenge; Braves win; Jets split

NEGAUNEE – A determined Escanaba baseball team rolled into Negaunee with the pain of losing two home tournament finals to the Miners still fresh in their minds.

They answered that call with a 10-0 thrashing of Negaunee, Thursday.

“We felt like we were the better team in those two games. It just didn’t work out,” said Eskymos manager Kirk Schwalbach. “Today it evened out. We hit the ball a little bit better, we played better and they didn’t play as well as they have. It all came out to a win for us.”

Escanaba tallied up 11 hits and benefited from four Negaunee errors, while committing two miscues themselves.

Esky jumped on Miners’ pitcher Tyler LaJoie, the winning pitcher in Negaunee’s two victories over Escanaba this season. They scored three runs in the third and chased LaJoie in the fourth.

Sean Bissell and Bailey Lamb each had two hits and and an RBI, Bissell had a double.

On the mound, Devin Olson earned the win by going four innings and allowing one hit and three walks with three strikeouts. Ben Kleiman relieved him, going the final three innings with three strikeouts, allowing three hits and one walk.

Escanaba added four more runs in the top of the seventh to build its lead to 10-0.

“I think Negaunee played really well against us the first two times,” said Schwalbach. “This time, they did some things they didn’t do the last two times. They made some mistakes. The first two games, everything that could go wrong for us, did.”

Escanaba (12-8) hosts Sault Ste. Marie in a Saturday doubleheader before hosting Gladstone on Monday at 6 p.m.

Gladstone 7, Stephenson 4

STEPHENSON – Facing a fireballer on the mound, the No. 3-ranked Gladstone baseball team decided to exhibit patience at the plate, Thursday against Stephenson.

It paid off, as the Braves drew seven walks in a 7-4 win over the Eagles.

“I thought their pitcher Matt Hanson threw hard,” Gladstone head coach Don Lauscher said. “He was the hardest throwing pticher we’ve seen this year. He was throwing in the low 80’s and he was a powerful pitcher. He has a promising arm for a young kid.”

The Braves only recorded five total hits, but managed to have a couple of scoring highlights. Christian Tackman recorded a two-run single in the second inning, and Justin Jurek tallied a two-run double in the fourth inning.

“We didn’t hit the ball real well tonight, but we played pretty well on defense,” Lauscher said. “We ran the bases well tonight and overall, it was a pretty good outing.”

The Braves scored once in the first inning, three in the second, one in the third, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth inning.

Stephenson scored a run in its first inning at the plate, but was unable to dent the scoreboard again until the sixth inning, where the Eagles tacked on three more on three Braves’ errors.”

“That’s one thing we can’t allow to have happen,” Lauscher said about committing the errors. “Come tournament time, if you have one bad inning, that’s probaby gonna do you in.”

Christian Groleau earned the win for Gladstone, going five innings and allowing one run on three hits and two walks. He struck out six.

Ben Schwalbach came in for relief in the sixth inning and all three runs he gave up, were unearned.

Drake Draze came in for the seventh inning and gave up one base hit, before retiring the Eagles.

Gladstone will host Marquette in a doubleheader today, starting at 4 p.m.

“I think we’re coming in with the right attitude and I think the kids are focused enough,” Lauscher said. “Again, if we can eliminate the one bad inning, I think we’ll be fine.”

Marquette Blues 9, North Central 8 (eight innings)

North Central 7, Marquette Blues 4

MARQUETTE – A wild pitch bailed the Marquette Blues out of one sloppy defensive game, but the American Legion baseball team couldn’t turn the trick twice as it split a doubleheader with North Central on Thursday.

Playing at home at Gerard Haley Memorial Field, the Blues overcame seven errors in the opener when a wild pitch brought home Levi Underwood with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 9-8 victory.

His was the third run scored in the extra inning after the Jets scored twice in the top of the eighth aided by a fielding error.

It made a winner of Blues reliever Payton LeBombard, who went 5 2/3 innings, scattering nine hits and no walks while chalking up two strikeouts.

“Payton came in and did a real nice job,” Blues assistant coach Randy Larson said. “Payton throws strikes and forces you to hit his pitch.”

The length of the first game only allowed five innings to be played in Game 2 as NC (3-5) scored in all but one inning and took advantage of another four Blues errors for a 7-4 triumph.

“We didn’t play good defense and we sure didn’t give any run support in this game,” Larson said. “We’ll be all right; we just got a little lazy these past three games.”

The Blues are 17-3 but have lost two of their past three contests, including a 5-4 loss at home to Channing on Wednesday.

Ryan Walther was the hard-luck loser in Thursday’s nightcap, allowing five runs, two of them unearned, in the first 2 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits and two walks while fanning one.

In that game, teammate Riley Lynch collected a triple and a double, scored a run and stole two bases, while Derek Stone and McKinley Larson had RBI singles.

Tyler Polfus got the win on the mound for the Jets, scattering four hits and three walks while fanning three.

In the opener, NC built a 5-0 lead before Marquette came back to force extra innings when Underwood singled and later scored on a groundout in the bottom of the seventh.

The Jets turned around and scored twice in the top of the eighth as Polfus and Bobby Kleiman singled, one run scoring on an error and another on a sacrifice fly.

But the Blues turned it around in the bottom of the inning. Ryan Hanson and McKinley Larson singled with several wild pitches and fielder’s choices along with an Underwood walk scoring both of them to tie the game.

Underwood moved around the basepaths on an error, fielder’s choice and wild pitch to end it.