Lancour barrels two HR’s, Cubs hold off Indians

GLADSTONE — Noah Lancour helped jumpstart Escanaba’s offense here Wednesday night in a 9-5 American Legion baseball triumph over Gladstone.

Lancour rapped a two-run homer to left field in the first inning, then added a two-run shot to left in a four-run second for a 7-0 advantage.

“We knew Noah was capable,” said Esky manager Jon Bintner. “He was hitting the ball well early in the season, then went into a little bit of a funk. It was good to see him bounce back and Jack McEvers follow the home runs with another hit. Anytime after you give away a game at home, it’s important to get a good start on the road. We’re definitely happy to get the W. We played with a lot more energy tonight.”

Gladstone scored a run on passed balls in the second and third, and Ryan Polley brought the Indians within 7-3 on a wild pitch in the fifth.

Caden Alworden got Gladstone’s fourth run on a wild pitch, and Nick Martin’s sacrifice bunt trimmed its deficit to 7-5 in the fifth.

Esky’s Connor Aiken, who rifled a one-out double to left, gave the Cubs (4-7) a three-run lead on Tyler Lawson’s sacrifice fly to left in the sixth.

The Indians (4-6) then loaded the bases with one out in their half of the sixth before shortstop Hunter Lancour ended the threat by turning an unassisted double play.

On that play, Lancour hauled in a line drive by Caden Alworden, then stepped on second to retire Tyler Darmogray, who was caught off the bag.

“That was just one of those plays,” said Gladstone manager Scott Kwarciany. “That was a great play by Hunter and Noah and Jack (McEvers) had great games for them. Credit to our kids for not giving up. We’re proud of the way they battled. They made a game of it.”

Esky, taking advantage of three walks and a throwing error, added an insurance run in the seventh.

“You can’t sit on a 7-0 lead,” said Bintner. “Keeping our foot on the pedal is something we’re working on. It’s definitely nice to get this one under our belts, although we’re still striking out too much with runners in scoring position.”

Noah Lancour, who pitched 4 1/3 innings, took the win. He struck out three, walked none, but hit four batters and Drew Rodman hit two more in relief.

“We hit six batters,” said Bintner. “I don’t understand that. You can’t give free bases. The first out in every inning is so important. Noah battled but probably had his C-stuff and not his A-stuff. Although, getting 4 1/3 innings out of him was huge.”

Hunter Lancour and third-baseman McEvers, who recorded six put-outs, also had multiple hits for the Cubs, who are idle until July 15 when they travel to Iron Mountain.

Darmogray, who worked the first two innings and absorbed the loss, was relieved by Drake Forrest in the third.

“It was nice to see Drake back on the mound tonight,” said Kwarciany. “Tyler has been a solid pitcher, but tonight he couldn’t find the strike zone. If you take away the first two innings, we played a pretty good game. We’re still 4-2 after a rough start. Credit to Escanaba. Their energy level was real good tonight.”

The Indians hosted Menominee Thursday and make their final regular-season home appearance against Iron Mountain Sunday.


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