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'Jacks beat Hawks, move to losers bracket

Jon Baker tossed a complete game two-hitter and the Cloquet Lumberjacks stayed alive in the Section 7AAA baseball tournament Monday, June 4, with a 2-0 shutout win over the Hermantown Hawks.

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."

Noah Witte and Markus Pokornowski added two hits each for Cloquet in the win.

"I was also happy with our defense, which played well," Norrgard said. "Tim Pokornowski made a very nice catch with two outs in the seventh inning to get the last out of the game."

Cloquet opened play in the Section 7AAA tournament by beating Hibbing 6-0. The game started Thursday, May 31, and didn't finish due to rain delays until Thursday afternoon.

"In the opening game against Hibbing, Jon pitched three innings, but it was at that point, the game was suspended due to lightning," Norrgard said. "He had thrown 52 pitches and in accordance with MSHSL rules, he had to wait two days to pitch again, so he was not able to pitch when the game resumed on Thursday. Noah Witte picked up the game on the mound for us and between the two of them our pitchers gave up just one hit."

Following the win over Hibbing on Thursday, the 'Jacks played Grand Rapids and fell 5-2.

"We made a couple of defensive mistakes and had a hard time throwing strikes," Norrgard said. "All five runs were scored when we walked guys and put them on base. They had only two hits."

The win against Hermantown eliminated the Hawks and put Cloquet into an elimination game against North Branch on Wednesday, June 6, at 3:30 p.m. at Wade Stadium. If the 'Jacks won, they would turn around and play once-beaten Chisago Lakes at 6 p.m. at Wade in another elimination contest. Results were unavailable by press time.

The championship will be Thursday, June 7, at Wade Stadium. Whichever team comes out of the losers bracket would have to beat Grand Rapids twice to be crowned section champion.