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Cloquet VFW falls in Section 8 playoffs

Cloquet's young baseball players are through with their summer season, with Coach Bruce Kahara's Cloquet VFW taking part in last weekend's Section 8 tournament in Duluth.

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Cloquet’s young baseball players are through with their summer season, with Coach Bruce Kahara’s Cloquet VFW taking part in last weekend’s Section 8 tournament in Duluth.

The team went 1-2 on the weekend and finished 9-14 overall.

The weekend started with a 4-2 loss to Grand Rapids at the newly-refurbished Wade Stadium.

“We played a very good game against Grand Rapids, which will probably wind up being the section champion,” Kahara said. “The problem we had in that game was that three of their four runs were unearned so our defense wasn’t all it could have been.”

Grand Rapids entered the tournament as the north region’s top seed, while Cloquet was the south’s number four seed.

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The team rebounded with a 7-6 victory over Virginia at Duluth East’s Ordean Stadium.

“We played a good game against Virginia and I thought we deserved to win,” Kahara said.

Ethan Bergman got the win on the mound for Cloquet, in relief of starting pitcher Austin Workman.

But the team’s season came to an end in its second losers’ bracket game, as they fell 8-2 to Hibbing.

“Again, defense was the problem,” Kahara said. “We had a few errors in that (Hibbing) game that really hurt us.”

But in the end, Kahara said the future is bright for his team.

“We had 15 kids out for the team and those are pretty good numbers,” he said. “They were probably the nicest group of young men that I’ve worked with as a VFW coach, and they are very teachable kids. They’ve got a great future.”

Kahara was assisted by Justin Harriman, and said that the group showed improvement all season long.

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“They hustled, they were mentally in the game at all times, and it was a great learning experience for all of us,” he said. “We pitched well at times, and we defended well at times, but not consistently. That is the next step for these players as they prepare for high school baseball.”


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