Eskymos rally past Braves
GLADSTONE — The Escanaba baseball team held off a determined Gladstone here Tuesday to take the nightcap win 6-4 after the Esky JV fell to the Braves 4-0 in the opener.
Entering the top of the fifth inning, the Eskymos were trailing the Braves 4-3.
“We hit the ball really hard at people, and that’s baseball,” Esky coach Scott Hanson said.
“Sometimes it’s unfair. We made some plays too when we needed to, so that’s all that counts.”
After a single and a quick out, Esky’s Casey Bray was hit by a pitch to put two on. Then, with the help of Jared Hanson’s sacrifice fly, Bryant Maki scored and tied it at four.
An error allowed Brett Schlenvogt to reach, and a fly to left field from Trent Lawson scored Bray to give the Eskymos back the lead, 5-4. Tyler Lawson followed that up with a hard ground shot to right to add an RBI thanks to Schlenvogt, making it 6-4.
Neither team had any more success with its bats to close out the game.
After the Eskymos scored one in the top of the first, both sets of bats were quiet until the fourth inning.
“Defensively, we were pretty solid,” Braves coach Lucas LaCosse said. “We made a few mistakes the second game. It’s Gladstone-Esky. It’s always going to be a hard-fought game. That first game, I couldn’t be any prouder of the young guys that were playing.
“The second game, it just didn’t go our way. It happens. Our bats came alive in the second (game) more so than they have earlier this season, and overall I think we played well.”
Thanks to two hit batters and an error, the Eskymos had the bases loaded after two outs. It was thanks to another error that Esky’s Collin Arnt reached on a ground ball and scored Jared Hanson and Bray to make it 3-0 Escanaba exiting the top of the inning.
The Braves retaliated in the bottom after finally getting the number of the Esky pitcher Hunter Lancour who had only given up two hits and a walk since the start of the nightcap.
“Hunter Lancour (who pitched four innings), I don’t think he could’ve started any better,” coach Hanson said. “He played well. Trent Lawson, for a sophomore to come in and close the door, I think he’s done a super job for us.”
The Braves’ Blake Krouth singled on a ground ball to left, Cam Kelly drew a walk and Mason LaChance hit another ground ball to the shortstop to load the bases.
A failed squeeze drew the first out for the Braves with Esky catcher Tyler Lawson tagging out Krouth on his way to home plate.
Lancour forced another quick out as Gladstone’s Dylan Pepin went down swinging, but a passed ball let Kelly score the Braves’ first run of the game.
Then, Ryan Polley wore a pitch to load the bases with two outs.
“It’s a rivalry game,” coach Hanson said. “I hope nobody is worried about being undefeated. You’re going to lose somewhere down the road here; it’s baseball. That should be the farthest from anyone’s mind. Gladstone battled. They took advantage of a couple situations. We made a couple poor plays, and they were right there. Hats off to them for making plays.”
Next, Gladstone’s Owen Trombley singled on a ground ball toward third to score LaChance, and it was a ground double just after that earned Carter VanBrocklin two RBIs as Trevor Hanson and Polley crossed home plate to give the Braves a 4-3 lead.
“Our pitching was phenomenal today,” LaCosse said. “They worked well. I couldn’t be any happier with how they threw today. They had some runs that were unearned. Just simple mental errors and stuff like that. In the long run, they end up killing you in a game.”
Escanaba hosts Bark River-Harris Thursday for a single game, and Gladstone hosts Marquette today for a doubleheader.