Walk-off hit lifts Esky past BR-H

Prep baseball

Grant LaMarche

ESCANABA — Grant LaMarche’s walk-off, two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Escanaba Eskymos to a 3-2 extra-inning win over Bark River-Harris Tuesday at Al Ness Field.

It was LaMarche’s second walk-off game winning hit this season and he was also the winning pitcher against BR-H, throwing the final three plus innings in relief of starter Noah Lancour.

The game was scoreless until Escanaba forged ahead 2-0 in the fifth inning on RBI singles from Zeke Strand and Tyler Lawson.

BR-H scored one run in the sixth and tied it 2-2 in the seventh inning on Sam Hall’s RBI single to force extra innings.

Esky starter Lancour pitched 5 2/3 innings, with one strikeout, allowing 2 hits, 0 earned runs and walked one.

LaMarche threw 3 1/3 innings, allowing four hits, one run, striking out one and no walks.

Broncos’ starting pitcher Ryan Arndt pitched five innings with four strikeouts, allowed five hits and walked two.

“Arndt pitched well through four scoreless innings,” said BR-H coach Al Botwright. “He got in trouble in the fifth, was laboring and his pitch count high. Both teams had their chances and this was a well-pitched, well-played game.”

Reliever Kadin Mustafa pitched the final four innings and took the mound loss. Mustafa allowed only one hit (LaMarche’s game-winner), struck out two, walked four and hit one batter (leadoff Esky hitter Strand who scored the game’s winning run reached on HBP).

“This was a nice win for us,” said Esky coach Scott Hanson.

“With districts coming up, the game had a playoff atmosphere. BR-H has a good team and is a local rivalry game and the players all know each other. It was a good baseball game.”

Esky (15-6) closes out the regular season at home Thursday hosting Menominee at 4 p.m.