"We left bases loaded three times again," explained Norrgard. "We just couldn't bust things open and then you start to get frustrated. At that point all you can do is keep going up and swinging until you finally break through." Cooper Grashorn, Rasmussen, Joe Backus and Johnson all had RBIs in the victory for Cloquet.
> The war of attrition resulted in the Wrens having just 14 players on the roster entering the playoffs Tuesday night against Carlton.
"Since day one our team focus was on the 'Big Three' — if we field better, if we have more quality at-bats and if we pitch better we would be a better team," explained coach Huff Emanuel. "It is the little things like no errors that help your pitchers, the pitch count and no walks keep your defense in the game and as a batter not extending your strike zone so you make the other pitcher work harder and hopefully tire them out. This team was ready for more of a challenge." <
Thursday's game was tight until the fifth inning when the Rebels pushed five runs across to grab a 12-6 lead. "It was a good competitive game with Moose Lake-Willow River," said Barnum coach Dustin Collelo. "We haven't been able to compete with them for a while so that was a positive for us."
"So far we've played well, but there is always room for improvement," said Bombers coach Mike Klyve. "I have been very pleased with how some of our younger guys have stepped up to fill the roles vacated by a very talented senior class last year."
"It was nice to see our kids bounce back after falling behind," said Coach Schmidt (who is also Peyton's dad). "This game was a good measuring stick for us against a good team."
Despite being young the Bombers expect to be solid on defense and a pretty good hitting team this season. According to their coach, they want to make sure they can compete in each and every game to the best of their abilities.
"That first hit set the tone for the game," Emanuel said. "While we hit the ball, Emilee (Wilson) our pitcher was throwing heat. She faced the minimum number of batters and only one of their players touched the ball and that was on a foul ball."
Quinn Fischer and Camden Berger — as the Eskomos entered their Section 7AA semifinal game against Proctor Thursday. The duo played a strong role in helping the Eskomos secure a win and a berth in Saturday's championship game against Crosby-Ironton, but less than 24 hours later the Eskomos suffered a couple of crushing blows that ultimately played a big part in their 52-46 loss in the championship against the Rangers.
Entering the Section 7AA girls high school basketball playoffs, Esko came in as the No. 1 seed with a record of 21-6. After easily dispatching Aitkin 71-37 in the first round on Saturday and defeating International Falls 73-47 in the second round on Tuesday night, the Eskomos will play for the championship against Crosby-Ironton at 7 p.m. Friday at UMD's Romano Gym.