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Escanaba Major Boys defeat Gladstone 8-3

ESCANABA — The Escanaba Major Boys’ Little League All-Stars (age 11-12) got the separation they needed in the sixth inning here Wednesday night in an 8-3 baseball victory over Gladstone in an area tournament opener.

Gladstone faces the winner Friday at 6 at Dickson Field.

The winners took advantage of three walks and a hit batsman in the sixth.

Alex Ison walked to start the inning, followed by pinch-hitter Kaiden Pastorek’s single to leftfield.

Ison then scored on a wild pitch, Pastorek made it 6-2 on a passed ball and Mikaiden Hughes added a two-run single to left.

“That was a big single by Kaiden,” said Esky manager Dan Garcia. “When we get some help, we want to take advantage of that. We like to play aggressive ball.”

Esky, cashing in on two errors and Hughes’ double to right-center, scored twice in the opening frame before adding a pair in the second.

Henry Sholten scored Gladstone’s first run on a wild pitch, and Nick Proehl made it 4-2 on a passed ball in the fourth.

Gladstone then loaded the bases with one out in the fifth before Esky’s second pitcher Andrew Junttila retired the next two hitters.

“My heart started beating a little when they loaded the bases, but Andrew did a great job getting out of it,” said Garcia. “That’s a good Gladstone team. They’re well-coached.”

Brody Ison, who struck out the first five batters he faced, became the winning pitcher. He finished with eight strikeouts, walked one, hit two batters and allowed two runs on no hits.

Nate Beauchamp worked the opening frame and took the loss.

Sholten, the second of five hurlers, relieved in the second inning.

“Brody threw really well for three innings, and we played good defense,” said Garcia. “We couldn’t touch Sholten. He pitched great.”

Hughes had two of Esky’s six hits. Gladstone finished with two.

“We had a chance to take the lead in the fifth, but their centerfielder made the play they needed,” said Gladstone manager Mike Sanville. “Henry switched his pitches well, which was pretty fun to watch. He kept them off balance. Escanaba has good pitching and a solid team. We gave them extra outs in the first inning, and that hurt us.”

Gladstone added its third run on Charlie Savard’s sacrifice fly to right.

The teams combined for six errors, including four by Gladstone.

“We have a new group of kids playing together,” said Sanville. “We gave up too many runs on errors, although they kept battling. We’re proud of their effort.”

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