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Cubs win pitcher’s duel: Arnt picks up shutout victory

Editor’s note: This game was completed past the print deadline to make it in Saturday’s edition of the Daily Press.

ESCANABA — Scoring chances were few and far between in a pitcher’s duel here Friday night.

The Escanaba Cubs, however, cashed in on their best opportunity in the fourth inning in a 1-0 victory over the Bark River Bucs in an Upper Peninsula Under-19 League baseball game.

Nick Kolich scored the lone run on a sacrifice fly by Riley Lamb after the Cubs loaded the bases on three errors.

“This was a well pitched game by both teams,” said Esky manager Jon Bintner. “We weren’t getting the greatest swings. We know we have good baserunners. We just have to give ourselves a chance to get them on base and move them around.”

The victory enabled the Cubs to match their win total from each of the past two seasons while improving to 3-1.

Bark River threatened in the seventh when John Robinette ripped a two-out double to left field. Winning pitcher Collin Arnt then retired Travis Mack on a fly ball to shallow center for the final out.

Arnt broke up Zach Englund’s bid for a no-hitter with a leadoff single to left in the sixth, then was thrown out at second while trying to advance on a bunt by Hunter Lancour.

Englund, who retired the Cubs in order in the first three frames, struck out five and walked none.

Arnt tossed a three-hitter, struck out six and walked none.

“Overall, we played real well on defense,” said Bark River manager Matt Richer, Jr. “We just had that one bad inning and it came back to haunt us. Everybody wants to beat those guys. Unfortunately, our bats didn’t show up. Their pitcher did a real good job keeping us off balance. We have a tough team. We just can’t seem to find a way to win.”

Neither team committed an error except the fourth frame when the Bucs made all of theirs.

“Riley Lamb made some great plays (at first) defensively,” said Bintner. “Connor Aiken also did a great job behind the plate. Collin was hitting his spots and didn’t test him. We’re able to put some good talent out there. We’re trying to get our program back where we had it.

“Our games with Bark River were awesome. They’ve been drawing a good crowd.”

In the JV game, Ryan Blixt scored on an error in the seventh, lifting the Esky Junior Cubs to a 10-9 triumph over Bark River.

Josh McEvers led Esky with two hits. Charlie Guenette had a pair of hits for the Bucs.

The Cubs travel to Coleman, Wis. today. The Bucs (4-7) visit Gladstone tonight.

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