Ison tosses no-hitter, Esky advances to championship
ESCANABA — Brody Ison and his Escanaba Little League Minor Boys’ All-Star teammates (age 9-10) were nearly as sharp as a tack here Saturday afternoon.
Ison fired a no-hitter and his teammates played flawless defense behind him in a 4-0 baseball victory over Kingsford in the District 10 tournament.
The teams meet again tonight at 6:30 in the championship round. Another game, if needed, takes place Tuesday at 6:30.
Kingsford advanced with Sunday’s 10-8 triumph over Gladstone.
Ison, who threw 75 pitches, struck out eight, walked one and hit a batter.
“I thought about it (no-hitter) near the end of the game,” he said. “Then, it took a couple seconds for me to realize what happened. Keeping focused on the game really helped. We did good hitting and made some good plays on defense.”
Esky scored its first run on Griffin Johnson’s single to center field in the first inning and Tim Robitaille’s single to center gave Esky a two-run cushion in the third.
The winners, taking advantage of two errors and two wild pitches, concluded the scoring in the fourth.
“That was an awesome game by Brody,” said Esky manager Dan Garcia. “A complete game, no-hitter, that doesn’t happen very often at this age level. Our defense was stellar. Joey (Garcia) made four nice catches in the outfield. We were ready to go Thursday (prior to the games getting postponed), then we had a little fun with the slip-and-slide on Friday. We let them play for about 45 minutes after practice and they were ready to play today.”
Kingsford’s first three hitters reached base in the opening frame. Carson Chrisman was hit by a pitch and Alex Hemgren and Logan Grondin then reached on a fielder’s choice. Ison didn’t allow another baserunner until the sixth when Brock Flaminio drew a leadoff walk.
“In the first game (in a 6-5 victory over Gladstone), we made nine errors,” said Garcia. “In the next game, we did a little better (in a 10-0 conquest of Tri-County). The kids are on it. They’re playing real well.”
Esky collected six hits, including two apiece by Robitaille and Garcia.
Mason Koski, who pitched the first 1 1/3 innings, took the loss. He struck out two, walked one and gave up a run on two hits.
Jonah Doenier threw the remainder of the contest, striking out five, walking none and allowing three runs on four hits.