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Wednesday July 18, 2018
Escanaba Cubs Rally For Wild Win In Marquette

MARQUETTE---Tom Ohman has been coaching baseball for 32 years in Escanaba.

But even he knows a good idea when he hears one. With his Cubs  team down by two runs in the seventh inning on Tuesday, Trent Schwalbach was hit by a pitch and Bailey Lamb got a base hit to right field. With the tying runs on the basepaths, Ohman decided to put in pinch runners for both boys so that there would be more speed on the bases.

Unlike in high school baseball, there is no re-enty allowed in American Legion ball.

Dane Messersmith (left) runs for Trent Schwalbach in the seventh inning.
So that meant that Ohman was taking his first and third basemen out of the game for good, along with their big sticks.

The move, actually suggested by Schwalbach himself, ended up working, as the two pinch-runners scored as part of a five-run seventh inning and the Escanaba Cubs posted a wild 11-9 win over the Marquette Blues at Haley Field.

"I don't like doing that because then you take them out of the game, and we still had to play defense in the bottom of the seventh," Ohman said. "But he (Trent Schwalbach) had a good point. It's do or die."

"We have enough people on the bench," Ohman continued. "It was the right move to pull the people that we did to get some speed in there. But it was also probably a move in 31 years that I have never made."

This game was a see-saw affair as the Cubs got off to a big lead early in the game.

Escanaba took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning by playing some "small ball" and taking advantage of Marquette's inability to make defensive plays on bunts and slow rollers. Austin Young led off with an infield hit and went to second on an overthrow.

Nick Vandermissen gets an RBI hit.
David Falish put down a bunt that pitcher Nick Kamrada threw away, scoring Young with the first run. Nick Vandermissen then put down a bunt to move Falish, and Alex DeHaan drove him in with a ground ball to second. Schwalbach later walked, moved to third on a hit by Lamb, and then scored on a single by Ben Kleiman.

So, the Cubs led, 3-0. And the lead grew to 5-0 in the second inning as Falish walked and scored on a wild pitch, and Doucette doubled and scored on a Vandermissen RBI single.

But Marquette rallied for three runs off of Kleiman in the second inning, as Eric Kostreva, Levi Underwood, and Cody Nordquist all got doubles and a passed ball allowed a third run to score. Young's RBI single in the third inning made it 6-3, and Kleiman worked an easy 1-2-3 bottom of the third.


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Trent Schwalbach post-game comments
Marquette, however, grabbed the lead with a four-run rally in the fourth inning. Kleiman had a rough inning, as he walked three batters and committed two throwing errors. Nordquist's two-run single tied the game and Alex Baker's RBI hit gave the Blues their first lead of the game at 7-6.

Kamrada, the young Blues pitching ace with a lively arm, got into a groove in the middle innings, keeping the Cubs off the board with only two baserunners. The Blues gave him an insurance run in the sixth inning off of Falish, who came on in relief of Kleiman after Kleiman tossed five innings, alowing seven runs on ten base hits.

Jared Wales led off the Marquette sixth with an infield hit, and Nathan Mutch walked on a 3-2 pitch. After a pop-up, Blues Manager Derek Swajanen called a delayed double steal, and it worked. The Cubs were forced to bring in their infield, and sure enough, Levi Underwood got a ground ball through that infield to score a run.

Falish would later face a bases-loaded-two-out situation in that inning, but he got the dangerous lead-off batter Nordquist to fly out to left field to keep the score 8-6.

So, the Cubs needed base runners in the top of the seventh inning, and the captain, Schwalbach came through. He took one for the team. An HBP is as good as a hit!

"Leading off, I was just trying to get on any way I could," Schwalbach said.

Then Lamb came through with his second hit of the day, putting runners at first and second with no outs. That's when Schwalbach came up with the idea of putting in two faster runners, even though that meant that he would have to sit the rest of the way.

"I came up with the idea because it was do-or-die right there," Schwalbach said.

Matt Jensen (right) scores as Austin Young (17) gets ready to bat.
It looked like Kleiman might deliver a run, but his soft line drive was caught by a leaping Kostreva at second base. That's when 19-year-old Matt Jensen came through with a double down the right field line, scoring the runner Dane Messersmith, making it an 8-7 game.

Doucette, another 19-year-old, got behind in the count, but managed to hit one to short. Devin Barton, using his speed, rushed home, and Marquette's Baker threw late.

That tied the game at 8-8, and the throw got away from the catcher, allowing Jensen to score from second base, putting the Cubs in front, 9-8.

Young followed with a base hit to move Doucette to third base, and on that play, the throw from left field was wild and Doucette was able to score. Vandermissen's RBI hit later made it 11-8, giving the Cubs some extra breathing room heading to the bottom of the inning.

Young came on to close the game on the mound, and he had an interesting bottom of the seventh inning. Ryan Walther led off with a single on a 3-2 pitch, then Young walked Baker, also on a full count. After Jared Wales flew out, Mutch hit a fly ball to left field.

Doucette got twisted around but got to the ball. It hit his glove and bounced away. That loaded the bases with only one out for the Blues. Young battled with Kostreva, getting him to hit a fly ball. It scored a run, but Young got an important second out.

Austin Young fires a pitch in the seventh inning against the Marquette Blues.
Young then faced veteran Adam Gannon, who had come on to pitch for Kamrada in the top of the inning. Young got Gannon to ground out to Andrew Kausak at third base, and the Cubs celebrated a wild win to improve their season record to 3-3.

"Maybe it was a little bit of our youth, and not being used to playing with each other, that threw us off," Schwalbach said. "We had to make a comeback at the end."

"We both kind of made a lot of errors, and basically the team that made the least errors won the game today," DeHaan said. "I was happy that with our youth, we were able to come through the way that we did. It's really nice to get a win against a team like the Marquette Blues. We always like to go out and compete against them."

Marquette fell to 24-9 on the season. Underwood had three hits and Nordquist and Walther each had two for the Blues. Kamrada took the loss, allowing 11 runs (five earned) on 13 hits in 6 2/3 innings. Falish earned the win in relief for the Cubs, with Young getting the save. Kleiman pitched five innings and got a no-decision.


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Matt Jensen double makes it 8-7 in the 7th Inning.
Marquette heads to the Marinette Firecracker Tournament this weekend, a tournament that is looking for a fill-in team as Negaunee dropped out of the event on Monday.

Escanaba hosts the Gregg Johnson Memorial Tournament at Al Ness Field. The Cubs play Kingsford on Friday at 3:00, and Sault Ste. Marie (Ont.) at 8:00. Those games will not be broadcast on the radio. Escanaba's games on Saturday against Midland Berryhill and Chief Pontiac will be broadcast on WCHT-AM (600), starting at 5:15 on Saturday.

Click on the thumbnails in the "ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS" box to see more pictures taken by Sandi Young, and to listen to radio replays.

Justyn Doucette (22) slides home with a run in the seventh inning against Marquette Tuesday night.


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Choose team:
Date Time Opponent Score Record
6/15
1:00 PM
at Green Bay Shockers
0 - 8 (L)
0-1
6/15
3:30 PM
at Kaukauna Legion
3 - 0 (W)
1-1
6/16
1:00 PM
Manitowoc Legion
7 - 8 (L)
1-2
6/16
6:00 PM
Sheboygan Legion
8 - 7 (W)
2-2
6/17
11:00 AM
Kaukauna Legion
7 - 10 (L)
2-3
6/19
6:30 PM
at Marquette Blues
11 - 9 (W)
3-3
6/22
3:00 PM
Kingsford Legion Blues
6 - 7 (L)
3-4
6/22
8:00 PM
Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) Black Sox
8 - 0 (W)
4-4
6/23
5:15 PM
Midland Berryhill
0 - 8 (L)
4-5
6/23
7:30 PM
Chief Pontiac
1 - 7 (L)
4-6
6/27
8:00 PM
Marquette Blues
3 - 0 (W)
5-6
6/29
4:00 PM
at Appleton Post 38
0 - 10 (L)
5-7
6/30
4:00 PM
at Highland, Indiana
0 - 10 (L)
5-8
6/30
6:30 PM
at Kimberly, Wis.
8 - 10 (L)
5-9
7/6
1:15 PM
at Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) Black Sox
17 - 0 (W)
6-9
7/6
8:00 PM
at Eastern U.P. Travelers
5 - 7 (L)
6-10
7/7
10:00 AM
Petoskey Legion
9 - 3 (W)
7-10
7/7
3:00 PM
Alpena Wildcats
3 - 4 (L)
7-11
7/19
8:00 PM
Gladstone Indians
0 - 3 (L)
7-12
7/22
1:00 PM
Eastern U.P. Travelers
3 - 1 (W)
8-12
7/22
3:30 PM
Eastern U.P. Travelers
5 - 2 (W)
9-12
7/24
8:00 PM
at Menominee Red Wave Legion
16 - 3 (W)
10-12
7/26
2:00 PM
Marquette Blues
13 - 3 (W)
11-12
7/26
7:30 PM
Menominee Red Wave Legion
2 - 5 (L)
11-13
7/27
12:00 PM
Eastern U.P. Travelers
15 - 4 (W)
12-13
7/28
10:30 AM
at Gladstone Indians
7 - 6 (W)
13-13
7/28
2:00 PM
Kingsford Legion Blues
17 - 3 (W)
14-13
8/2
10:00 AM
Menominee Red Wave Legion
5 - 6 (L)
14-14
8/3
9:30 AM
Marquette Blues
0 - 8 (L)
14-15



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