The threat of thunderstorms didn't deter local runners on the Fourth of July who participated in the 8th Annual Sawdust 5K at Pinehurst Park in Cloquet.
"It's so great to have kids on the team that you never have to wonder about their grades," Carlton coach Ryan Schmidt said. "Jack and Leif are two of those guys. Both are in National Honor Society and they are shining examples of what student athletes should be."
Postseason accolades continue to stream in for local high school baseball players.
The high school baseball season just ended a week ago, but summer baseball is wasting no time in getting underway as local Legion, Junior Legion and VFW teams all have hit the diamonds in an effort to get more playing time and to work on skill level while getting more repetitions than they would in the spring.
"It was fun to watch our pitchers work the way they did to get the job done," Olin said. "Our entire team was focused the entire day." For their part, the Bulldogs suffered a 12-0 regular-season loss to the Panthers just a couple of weeks ago before rebounding to beat South Ridge in the playoffs, putting the Panthers in the losers bracket of the double-elimination tournament.
Monday's game featured a pitchers' duel between Baker and Hermantown senior Jayden Isensee. While Baker was tossing a shutout, Isensee was nearly his equal by allowing only two runs on just seven hits. "Jon threw well for us Monday," Cloquet coach Rick Norrgard said. "He also drove in the only two runs with a single in the third inning with two outs on a 3-1 count."
In the end, it was the Eskomos who managed to sneak one run across and earn a 1-0 victory, sending the Hilltoppers into the losers bracket. "Wow! All I can say is 'Wow!'" Esko coach Ben Haugen exclaimed after the game. "What a game and what a performance by both pitchers."
"Carlton played a great game," Olin said. "We got off to an early lead, but we let them stick around and gave them a few extra outs with errors and that gave them life." South Ridge then faced the enviable task of trying to take out an Ely team that was fighting its way back out of the losers bracket.
Despite Mother Nature's best efforts, baseball playoffs kicked off Tuesday, May 29, across the area.
"Anytime you can score in the first inning of a game is important because it gives you momentum," ML-WR coach Kelly Goeb said. "Lauren has started a lot of games for us with a home run, which puts the pressure on the other team and helps to elevate our offense."