Esky explodes for 17 runs in the fourth to win 22-0

ESCANABA – It took a few innings for the Escanaba boys’ nine and 10-year-old all-stars to settle into a groove Saturday.

They did just that in the fourth, scoring 17 times in a 22-0 rout of Munising in the area baseball tournament.

The victory enabled Esky to advance to the District 10 tournament against Menominee Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Dickson Field.

Nathan Howes got things started in the fourth, giving Esky a 6-0 advantage on a double steal.

Then, the floodgates opened as Esky sent 23 hitters to the plate and took advantage of 11 walks in the inning.

Esky opened the scoring on Sawyer LaMarch’s bunt single in the second and raised the count to 3-0 on Howes’ two-run inside-the-park home run in the third.

Also in the third, LaMarch made it 4-0 on an infield single a bases-loaded walk to Marshall Zelenak then gave Esky a 5-0 cushion.

“We need this (four-day) break,” said Esky manager Darren Bray. “We need to rest some arms and work on some things. We weren’t ready to play mentally at first.”

Munising missed its best scoring chance in the first when it loaded the bases with nobody out, but came up empty.

“Keeping them from scoring in the first was huge because we didn’t score in the top of the first,” said Bray. “I think that was the turning point in this game.”

Esky finished with 13 hits, with Sawyer LaMarch and Ayden Mylander leading the way with three apiece. Jayger LaMarch and Howes added two each.

Casey Bray, who pitched three innings, struck out seven, walked none and allowed three hits.

Kane Nebel, the second of four Munising pitchers, suffered the loss.

“I thought Munising’s first pitcher (Mitch Scheiding) did a nice job,” said manager Bray. “He kept us off balance.”

The four Munising hurlers issued a combined 18 walks.

Munising recovered quickly from Saturday’s loss to elminate Tri-County 10-4 on Sunday and advance to the district tourney, where it will face Norway Wednesday at 5.

Tri-County led 2-0 in the second. Munising then trimmed its deficit in half when Jake Mattson scored on a passed ball in its half of the inning and took a 3-2 lead on Bill Crisp’s two-run infield single.

Munising added four runs each in the third and fourth frames.

Kaden Kienitz and Selby Beauchaine, who clubbed a two-run single to right-center in the third, had two hits apiece for Munising.

Losing pitcher Matt Rondeau had two hits, including a double to right-center which trimmed Tri-County’s deficit to 6-3 in the fourth.

On Saturday, Rondeau and Kyle Frusti had two hits each as Tri-County knocked out Gladstone 13-3 in five innings. Nick Martin had a pair of hits for Gladstone.

Munising opened with a 7-3 triumph over Gladstone on Friday. Nebel collected three hits and Kienitz, Scheiding and Ashton Wymer had two apiece. Noah Peterson led Gladstone with a pair.

Tri-County erupted for 15 runs in the second inning in a 26-3 demolition of Manistique.

Frusti collected five hits. Dakota Maki, Cain Hall, Matt Saberniak and Logan Silta had three each.

Trevor Bosanic led Manistique with two.