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Baseball: Undefeated Esko rolls over Rebels

A big first two innings helped propel the Esko baseball team to another impressive win on

Monday night as the Eskomos downed Moose Lake/Willow River, 14-2, in Esko. The win was the 14th of the season for Esko.

"Basically in the first two innings, we hit the ball and they didn't," said Esko coach Ben Haugen. "They also made some errors that we took advantage of and that helped us to build a big lead."

Esko scored three in the first inning and five more in the second as they pulled ahead 8-1.

"Esko is so good up and down their lineup," said Rebels coach Spencer Clough. "When you face Esko, your pitchers and defense have to be close to perfect, and we didn't make a lot of plays."

Isaak Sertich, who was the starting pitcher for Esko, aided his own cause by going 2-for-3 at the plate, including a home run and five runs batted in. Sam Haugen, Esko's leadoff batter, also had a big day with a homer and three runs batted in.

"Both Isaak and Sam have been working hard to hit the ball back up the middle and to not roll their hands," said coach Haugen. "It is good to see them both being rewarded for their hard work."

Trent Ondrus also had a solid night for Esko with a pair of hits and two RBIs, and catcher Bryce Hipp added three RBIs.

The Rebels, who had two hits on the night, scored single runs in the second and third innings. Then Esko exploded for six more runs in the bottom of the third inning to go ahead 14-2, which would be the final score of the game.

Despite the loss, the Rebels coaching staff is seeing improvement from their team.

"Overall, I am impressed with where we are at, even though tonight was frustrating with the big loss to Esko," said Clough. "There has been a lot of growth from the first game to now."

The loss dropped the Rebels to 4-6 on the season, while the win improved Esko to 14-0.

"Spencer is doing a good job over at ML/WR," said Haugen. "You can see the improvement

over last year."

Esko, along with Duluth Marshall, are two of the top-ranked teams in the state in Class AA again this season.