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Baseball: Storm stops 'Jacks section opener

Cooper Grashorn of Cloquet gets past the tag attempt by Hibbing catcher Hayden Westerberg to put Cloquet up 2-0 in the third inning Tuesday, May 29. Matt Moses/Pine Journal1 / 4
Hibbing second baseman Will Durie tags out Cloquet's Tim Pokornowski's attempt to steal a base during the first inning of Section 7AAA playoff baseball at Mettner Field in Cloquet. Matt Moses/Pine Journal2 / 4
Cloquet's starting pitcher, Jon Baker, prepares to release a strike ball during the third inning at Mettner Field. Matt Moses/Pine Journal3 / 4
Cloquet's Noah Niemi watches his line drive to the right field, which allowed Noah Witte to score Cloquet's first run in the second inning at Mettner Field on Tuesday, May 29. Matt Moses/Pine Journal4 / 4

Despite Mother Nature's best efforts, baseball playoffs kicked off Tuesday, May 29, across the area. Most of the games were completed by the time torrential downpours moved through and suspended games still in progress.

One of the games that wasn't completed was the Class AAA opener between Cloquet and Hibbing in Cloquet. The 'Jacks held a 3-0 edge in the bottom of the third inning when storms containing strong winds and lightning kicked up causing the game to be suspended until Wednesday, May 30.

In other Section 7AAA games, Grand Rapids slid by Denfeld 6-2; Chisago Lakes beat Princeton 5-0; and North Branch downed Hermantown 9-5.

Section 7AA

Esko eliminated Rush City 13-1 in five innings behind the pitching of Riggs Olson, who allowed just two hits. Branden Matteen went 2-for-2 with a double and a pair of RBIs and James LeGarde also added two hits for the Eskomos.

Moose Lake-Willow River slipped by Pine City 11-10 as Ethan Meyer picked up two hits including a triple in leading the Rebels to the win.

Ian Coil added a pair of hits and two runs scored; Mark Fossum scored twice and had an RBI; Cooper Bexell scored twice; Ben Dewey had a pair of RBIs, as did Jordan Fjosne; and Danny Whited picked up the pitching win.

The Rebels' win eliminated the Dragons from the tournament.

There were other local teams whose games were postponed due to the weather in Section 7AA. Barnum and Aitkin moved their game to noon Wednesday, while the game between Esko and ML-WR also was suspended until later Wednesday morning.

Mora beat Crosby-Ironton 16-1 in a five-inning affair; Two Harbors downed Proctor 6-4; Duluth Marshall took an 11-1 win over Mesabi East; and Eveleth-Gilbert slid by Virginia 6-4.

C-I, Proctor, Mesabi East and Virginia were all eliminated following their losses Tuesday.

Section 7A

Wrenshall opened play by bouncing Floodwood from the tournament 12-2.

The Wrens only recorded two hits — both by Eli Krisak — but the Polar Bears struggled to record outs as Wrenshall rolled to the easy five-inning win. Brennan Kelley and Randy Wimmer combined to strike out 10 Polar Bears in the win.

Kaden Crane tossed a complete game four-hitter as the Carlton Bulldogs opened sectional play by knocking off Cook County 5-2. Crane also had a solid day at the plate with two hits and two runs scored. Chase Parker chipped in with a double and two hits and Austin Parker added two RBIs for Carlton.

The Carlton versus Wrenshall game, which was scheduled for Tuesday, had to be moved to Wednesday in Proctor because of the weather system that moved through in the early evening.

South Ridge also stayed alive in the playoffs by knocking off Silver Bay 3-1 in Esko after Silver Bay eliminated Cherry earlier in the day 11-1.