ESCANABA - The Escanaba Eskymos salvaged a shaky game to win the consolation bracket of the Bink's Coca Cola baseball tournament Saturday.
Enduring a parade of hit batters, the Eskymos tagged Negaunee for four runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 6-3 victory.
Escanaba lost its first game to Petoskey 4-2.
Dennis Grall | Daily Press
The ball, to the left, sails into center field as Escanaba second baseman Nick Vandermissen, and shortstop Ben Kleiman apply the brakes and fail to catch a throw from pitcher Austin Young Saturday. The seventh inning error had the potential of a double play but resulted in Petoskey scoring the go-ahead run in a 4-2 victory. For more photos, visit cu.dailypress.net.
With the Miners holding a 3-2 lead entering the seventh inning, Nick Vandermissen hit a 1-out single. Then with two outs and the Eskymos down to their last strike, Ben Kleiman ripped an RBI single to score Vandermissen from third. Ian DeMarse drew a walk before Tim Lueneberg came through with the game-winning RBI single. Lueneberg was named to the all-tournament team to a seranade of cheers.
A total of seven players were hit by pitches during the game, some of which helped the Miners
in a three-run fifth inning. Negaunee had just two hits but drew walks and hit-by-pitches to score three runs.
Jeff Lyle was the starting pitcher for the Eskymos.
"Jeff pitched well for four and half innings, but it got away from him in the fifth," said Escanaba manager Kirk Schwalbach. Austin Young came on in relief and retired all eight batters he faced to earn the victory.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kleiman made the final out on a spectacular diving leap to catch a fly ball.
"That was a nice diving play at the end," Schwalbach said.
Lueneberg and Lyle each collected two hits for the Eskymos while Alex DeHaan ripped a two-RBI single.
Cory Larson took the loss for the Miners.
In the opener, Petoskey scored two unearned runs in the top of the seventh to break a 2-2 tie, after tying the game in the sixth with a bases loaded hit batter.
Young, in relief, gloved a grounder up the middle by Joe Robbins that was a potential double-play and threw the ball into center field when Vandermissen and Kleiman, at second and shortstop respectively, stopped before the bag as Young threw to the open base. An insurance run scored on a bouncer to third and the ball was thrown wide of the plate.
Escanaba loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but failed to score.
Escanaba (17-10) travels to Negaunee Thursday.