Season ends for Carlton Legion baseball
The Carlton Legion baseball team bowed out of the District Tournament last week, but not before upsetting the tournament's No. 3-seed Grand Marais. Carlton, seeded sixth, surprised Grand Marais by scoring early and often in the 8-7 win. Grand Mar...
The Carlton Legion baseball team bowed out of the District Tournament last week, but not before upsetting the tournament's No. 3-seed Grand Marais.
Carlton, seeded sixth, surprised Grand Marais by scoring early and often in the 8-7 win.
Grand Marais took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but then Carlton rebounded over the next four innings. In the third, it was a leadoff walk to Arthur Langhorst and then a fielder's choice which pushed Langhorst to second. After Coleman, Connolly was hit by a pitch, Mike Saunders doubled to score two and then Nick Stevenson bashed a triple to score Saunders.
"In the fourth we scored four runs with two out," said coach Mark Saunders. "Langhorst started things with a bloop hit to right and then a passed ball put him on second."
From that point on it got wild for Carlton. First Caleb Hatfield singled and then Connolly and Saunders both walked. Stevenson picked up two more RBIs with a single.
In the fifth inning, Taylor Shanda doubled and Hatfield had a clutch two-out single to score Shanda with what eventually would be the winning run.
"We were comfortable with an 8-2 lead and Stevenson was pitching well," commented coach Saunders, "but an error put a runner on and Grand Marais scored four straight to bring it to 8-6."
Grand Marais also picked up a run in the seventh, but Stevenson and his defense buckled down to take the win. Stevenson pitched a complete game and in the process allowed seven hits.
"It was good to see the kids believe in themselves and not get down when they are behind," remarked Saunders. "That game put us into the championship bracket in Nashwauk where we started the day off against the No. 2-seed which was Ely."
Ely pitcher Nick Furnstahl was just too much for Carlton, which had to play the game with only nine players.
"The kids fought hard," mentioned Saunders. "[Furnstahl] is a first-year college pitcher and he is very polished, plus he provided a lot for their offense."
Ely won by a score of 18-2 in five innings.
In their final game, Carlton fell 9-0 to Chisholm and was eliminated from the tournament.
"The season was a success with respect to the goals we had," explained Saunders. "The kids worked hard at their games by attending clinics and spending weekend days on their own, hitting."
Carlton partnered with AlBrook, Cotton and Cromwell and most of the players had about 90 at-bats this summer, according to Saunders.
"We all saw strength in the Range baseball programs and that is where we need to be if we are going to compete in Section 7," stated Saunders. "These northern teams are the yardstick we need to measure ourselves by. Our whole roster will be back at high school next spring so should be even stronger next summer."