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Tourney brings baseball bonanza

The Cloquet Northland Baseball Classic wrapped up Sunday by crowning champions in six age divisions. The tournament featured 53 teams playing a combined 118 games at three locations starting Friday afternoon and wrapping up Sunday evening.

"It was a great tournament," said tournament director Nate Knutson. "We had rain on Thursday night prior to the tournament, which made the fields a little soft on Friday morning, but by the time we started playing games, everything was in great shape and the weather held all weekend for us."

Games were played in the U9, U10, U11, U12, U13 and U14 divisions. All of the championship games were played at Braun Park with the exception of the U14 Division, which was played at Mettner Field. Carlton's Chub Lake Park also hosted games over the weekend.

"It was a great atmosphere at all locations," said Knutson. "We had concessions going on, so there was food at all the fields, and it was just a great time for everyone."

Saturday night Knutson hosted a booth for all the Cloquet teams at Mettner Field as the Cloquet U14 team played a game under the lights.

"Sammy's Pizza sponsored a pizza night for us and we had all the kids from the other Cloquet teams watching," Knutson said.

Cloquet won the U9 division with a win over Lake Park. In the U10 division, Rock Ridge defeated South Ridge. Duluth 709 AAA defeated Hermantown in the U11 age group. Hermantown beat Cloquet AAA in U12. Hermantown also won the U13 division with a win over Pequot Lakes. And the Duluth 709 AA team won the U14 age group over Duluth 709 13's AAA squad.

"Our Cloquet teams did pretty well with a first-place finish, a runner-up and two third-place finishes," Knutson said.

Winning teams received trophies, and champions also received mini bats engraved with "'champion" or "runner-up."

"We also used local players to keep our fields playable, run the concessions and to clean up garbage and run the scoreboards," said Knutson. "It was a great weekend and we love offering the chance for the teams to get some more games in."

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