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Lumberjacks felled in opening games

The Cloquet boys baseball team could have picked a couple of easier opponents to open with this season. Instead, the Lumberjacks opened with a doubleheader against Duluth East and Duluth Marshall at Wade Stadium last Thursday, April 4. The 'Jacks lost the opener to East 7-4 and then fell in the nightcap 8-1 to Marshall.

"Both of those teams are going to be awfully good this season," said Cloquet coach Tyler Olin.

The Lumberjacks will have to find a way to replace 13 players who graduated last season.

"We do have some pieces we can build off of," Olin said. "We are inexperienced and we'll need some guys to fill some leadership roles for us."

In the opening loss to East, the Greyhounds came out in the first inning and put up three runs for a 3-0 lead. The Greyhounds tacked on a single run in the third and two more in the fourth as they upped their lead to 6-0. The Lumberjacks scored a run in the fifth and another in the top of the sixth to cut the gap to 6-2, but East added another run in the bottom of the sixth before Cloquet scored two in the top of the seventh for the final score of 7-4.

"We made some mistakes which made us throw more

pitches," Olin said.

Cloquet had just three hits in the game, with Brody Dushkin leading the attack with a double while both Brady Winfield and Drew Angell each had a single.

Angell started on the mound and gave up six hits in his three innings of work, while Winfield gave up four hits in three innings.

Bjorn Lind was the winning pitcher for East by giving up just one hit in four innings of work, and Dylan Cole went 4-for-4 at the plate for the Greyhounds.

The second game of the day saw the 'Jacks drop an 8-1 decision to Duluth Marshall. Cloquet struggled to find an answer to Marshall starting pitcher Tanner Carlson, who did not give up a hit in his four innings of work.

"We really have been outside only once as a team, so to have to open against two of the top pitchers in the area was tough," Olin said. "I am confident once we get a chance for the guys to get comfortable in their new roles that we'll see a lot of improvement."

Only Jack Battaglia and Lucas Gentilini had hits for the Lumberjacks. Aidan Sievert went three innings on the mound for Cloquet, while Aiden Collins went 1 1/3 and Nikolas Gentilini went 1 2/3 innings for the 'Jacks.

"I do like the fact that we have six guys who can throw," Olin said. "We don't have that one big guy who can go out and strike out a bunch of guys, but we have some guys who can throw strikes and get outs for us."


Also on Thursday, the defending Section 7A champion South Ridge Panthers got a nicely pitched game from Christian Pretasky and a two-run homer from Kai Tuominen in a 4-1 win over Mesabi East.

On Friday, Mesabi East bounced back to beat Moose Lake/Willow River 6-3. Leading ML/WR were Layne Radzak and Magnus Koecher, who both had two hits.

Rendered 06/16/2024 10:14