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Errors cost Esko in section play

But they get chance for redemption against Marshall

A huge five-run inning by Duluth Marshall Wednesday, June 5, saw the Hilltoppers topple defending state champion Esko 9-0 in the semifinal round of the double-elimination tournament at Wade Stadium in Duluth.

But the season wasn't over yet.

Esko needed to crawl back via the Section 7AA elimination bracket later on Wednesday, defeating Proctor to get another shot at the Hilltoppers. They would have to beat Marshall twice Thursday to advance once again to the state tournament next week in St. Cloud.

Errors were the Achilles' heel for Esko against Marshall Wednesday. Trailing 1-0 before the bottom of the fifth inning, Marshall's Tanner Carlson singled in two runs as part of the five-run inning which also featured five errors by Esko. When it was all over, Esko had committed seven errors and managed only one hit, from Bobby Thornton.

Finn Furtch took the loss, allowing only one earned run. Jackson Peterson replaced Furtch and also allowed only one earned run. Marshall's seven other runs were all the result of the errors.

The loss put Esko into the elimination portion of the 7AA tournament, with a chance for redemption against Marshall Thursday at Duluth's Wade Stadium.

But first Esko would have to defeat Proctor in a game Wednesday afternoon that was delayed by lightning and heavy rain and rain.fter the third inning. It was worth the wait.

After squeaking by with a 9-8 win over Esko Proctor last Thursday, Esko defeated the Rails 3-1 Wednesday, setting up a rematch with Marshall at 5 p.m. Thursday at Wade Stadium. Dylan Marciulionis pitched all seven innings for Esko, with one run scored on four hits. He walked two and struck out five.

UPDATE: They did it the hard way, but the Esko baseball team is the 2024 Section 7AA champion again. The defending state champs fell to Marshall Wednesday 9-0 but climbed back into the championship game and won a trip back to State. They had to beat Marshall two games in a row Thursday to do it, but Esko came through when it mattered most, winning 10-3 and 4-2. Look for more in next week's Pine Knot News

Rebels surprise

A surprise team in the 7AA playoffs was Moose Lake/Willow River, which defeated Aitkin in the opening round before falling to Marshall.

The Rebels then pulled their second upset of the tourney by beating the fourth-seeded Mesabi East Giants by a score of 15-3. ML/WR pounded out 15 hits in the win led by Layne Radzak and Hayden Danielski, who both had three hits, while Luke Dewey, Runo Larson and Tyler Juhl all added two hits in the win. Jhul also pitched a complete game victory for the Rebels.

ML/WR saw its season end when Mora defeated the Rebels 4-1 in the elimination bracket. Danielski had two hits in the loss to the Mustangs.

Section 7AAA

Cloquet saw its season end last Thursday in a 6-4 loss to Chisago Lakes. The Wildcats opened up an early lead despite three hits from the Lumberjacks' Niko Gentelini.

Cloquet rallied in the top of the sixth inning to tie the score at 4-4, but the Wildcats scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to move on.

The Lumberjacks managed six hits on the day, all coming from the bottom of the Cloquet line up. The three senior pitchers - Brady Winfield, Aidan Sievert and Drew Angell - could not stop the Wildcats and their 13 hits.

Section 7A

Section 7A continued in the playoffs on Tuesday with four teams remaining. It was Cherry knocking off South Ridge in the battle of the unbeatens at Mesabi East School by a score of 7-1. Noah Sunquist pitched a four-hitter for Cherry in the contest, and Eli Coon tripled in the third inning, which led to the only Panther run of the game. Issac Asuma had three hits in the victory for Cherry.

The loss then forced the Panthers to play later Tuesday in an elimination game, a 3-1 win over Deer River. Gavin Willeck, Blake Olson and Theodore Yellowrobe combined on a two-hitter for South Ridge. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Panthers scored solo runs in the second, fourth and the fifth innings. The win set up a rematch with Cherry for the Section 7A championship at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Rock Ridge High School.

 
 
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