Junior Legion teams clash
July 28, 2023
The 8th District Junior Legion baseball tournament started last weekend and continued this week with two area teams continuing to battle for a place in the championship in the double elimination tournament. On Sunday, Barnum-Moose Lake-Willow River throttled Chisholm 17-0 in five innings to secure their spot in Tuesday's second round. Meanwhile, Esko also answered the bell with a snappy 7-3 win over Proctor.
"We are pretty deep in our pitching rotation right now," said Esko coach Nick Legarde. "We had a lot of guys who played up in the Legion playoffs who pitched, so we are reaching deep into our rotation right now."
Bobby Thornton stepped up to pitch for Esko. He was able to hold the strong-hitting BMW team to just a pair of runs, along with relief help from Jamis Halverson.
While Thornton pitched well for Esko, Eli Gilbertson was equally sharp for BMW. Gilbertson needed just 79 pitches while taking a tough loss.
"Eli pitched well," said Shawn Bode, head coach of BMW. "It was a frustrating game for us because we had 16 base runners and they had seven, and yet they got the win."
Esko led most of the game, starting with one run, then adding two more in the fourth inning, with their big hit coming from Sam Panger, but BMW is a good team up and down the lineup and Legarde knows they very well could be a team that will be in the semifinals.
"They are solid all the way through their lineup," said Legarde. "We beat them three times this year, but every game has been tight. They are a good ball club and Shawn (Bode) does a great job with them."
Legarde would prove prophetic, as BMW rebounded in the Tuesday night nightcap game by pounding Chisholm 16-0 behind three pitchers who threw a no-hitter.
"Tyler Juhl, P.J. Frisch and Runo Larson combined on the no-hitter for us," said Bode. "We played a very tough schedule this summer, but we're 1-8 in one-run games. Hopefully we can reverse that during these playoff games now."
Both teams will now play on Saturday with yet to be determined opponents. Games were being played both in Proctor and Ely as this issue of the Pine Knot went to press.