May 5, 2023
Esko sweeps round robin
The weather broke long enough on April 25 for the Esko, South Ridge and Barnum baseball teams to play a three-game round robin at Wade Stadium in Duluth.
Barnum came in at 1-0 after a 6-2 win over ML/WR a week earlier, but fell hard, 27-0, to an impressive Esko team.
One of the top-ranked teams statewide in Class AA, Esko belted out 17 hits in the shutout. Sam Haugen, AJ Kazel and Isaak Sertich all had two hits for Esko. Kazel led the Eskomos with four RBIs while Bryce Hipp added three RBIs. Cale Haugen, Jamis Halverson, Finn Furcht and Trent Ondrus all recorded two RBIs for the winners.
On the mound, Sam Haugen, Jackson Peterson and Tyler Salmela combined on a one-hitter for Esko.
The second game for Barnum was against another powerhouse: South Ridge. The Panthers have made three straight trips to the Class A state tournament and are looking for another state tournament run. The Panthers prevailed 7-4 in a game that saw the Bombers score four runs in the top of the sixth inning to cut the lead to 6-4, before the Panthers salted the game away with another tally in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Eli Gilbertson slashed out a pair of hits for the Bombers, while Christian Pretasky and Josiah Deloach each had two hits for the Panthers. Wyatt Olson led the Panthers with three RBIs.
Esko and South Ridge met for the final game of the day, which Esko won 4-2.
The Eskomos led 4-0 entering the top of the sixth inning, but the Panthers responded with a pair of runs to cut the lead to 4-2. Then Esko slammed the door in the seventh to pick up the win between two of the area’s best small school teams.
Deloach, of South Ridge, and Esko’s Dylan Marciulionis faced off in a fantastic pitchers’ duel with both pitching deep into the game. Marciulionis fanned five Panthers batters in six innings of work while not walking a single South Ridge batter. Meanwhile, Deloach pitched five innings and gave up five hits against an impressive Esko lineup.
Pretasky came up big offensively for South Ridge with a pair of RBIs while Carter Anderson added a double and Sheen Ralidak had a triple for the Panthers.
Offensively for the Eskomos, Cale Haugen went 2-for-2 at the plate and Finn Furcht added two RBIs.
Cloquet softball starts strong
Cloquet’s Roena Diver accomplished the rare feat of hitting for the cycle, as the senior shortstop was 4-for-5 with a single, double, triple and home run, including four runs scored and six RBIs as Cloquet routed the Carlton/Wrenshall Raptors at Chub Lake Park on Friday, April 28.
Allie Jones was the game’s winning pitcher, as the sophomore struck out nine, walked four and allowed just five hits on a rainy afternoon. She also added a 3-for-4 day at the plate, as did junior Blythe Proulx, who had a triple, two RBIs and scored four times.
Frenchie Klimek and Abby Mitchell had two hits and scored once each for Carlton/Wrenshall. Mitchell was the game’s losing pitcher, scattering 13 hits, giving up seven earned runs and walking seven in six innings.
Cloquet stayed on a roll the next day, Saturday in a 13-3 win over Duluth East in Duluth..
Carly Johnson went 3-for-4 with a triple, double and two RBIs, as the junior leadoff hitter had another effective day at the plate. Fellow junior Blythe Proulx also went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, while sophomore Morgan Olesiak was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Senior Lexi Goranson also doubled and had two RBIs.
Allie Jones notched her fourth win in as many starts this season, striking out seven and walking eight on a rainy day.
Cloquet’s game at Esko later in the day was postponed due to poor field conditions. A makeup date is still in the works for later in May.
The 4-0 Lumberjacks were routed by Rock Ridge on Monday at Braun Park in Cloquet, 12-0. The Wolverines were solid in all facets of the game, coach Tyler Korby said, ripping out 14 hits to score their 12 runs – a majority in the opening three innings on a blustery afternoon.
Cloquet was at Wade Stadium in Duluth on Tuesday to take on Denfeld.