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Tuesday September 16, 2014
Eskymos Sweep Rudyard To Start Big Homestand

ESCANABA---It was an all Orange and Black battle at Al Ness Field Friday, as the Escanaba Eskymos and Rudyard Bulldogs faced off for the first time in recent memory.

The Eskymos got good pitching, played strong defense, and took advantage of several Bulldog mistakes to take both ends of the doubleheader, 9-0 and 9-4.

Devin Olsen gets his first win.
David Falish took a no-hitter into the final inning in the opener before settling for a two-hit shutout, and in the nightcap, rookie Devin Olsen allowed two runs in four innings to earn his first victory.

"This was a great doubleheader," Eskymo Manager Kirk Schwalbach said. "Coming in, I didn't know what to expect. We're off to a great start."

The sweep opened a six-game homestand for the Eskymos, who play another doubleheader Saturday against the Shawano (Wis.) Hawks.

In Friday's opener, it was obvious that Falish would be tough to hit as he set the Bulldogs down 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning. He walked a batter in both the second and third innings, but the baserunners did not hurt him.

Then, the Eskymos broke the 0-0 tie in the third inning against Rudyard ace pitcher Tyler Wilson. Nick Vandermissen doubled, stole third, and Falish walked. The Eskymos tried the double steal, and it worked when the Bulldogs elected to throw to second base.
The speedy Falish made it, and so did Vandermissen, to score the first run.


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Cam Beversluis RBI double.
Then rookie Cam Beversluis came through with an RBI double to give Escanaba a 2-0 lead.

"I just got a couple of good pitches where I like them, right down the middle," Beversluis said. "So, I did what I could with them. It's pretty nerveracking (playing high school ball). It's a little bit easier once you get through the first inning, and you start getting into the flow of the game."


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Austin Young two-run double.
The third inning became a disaster for Rudyard as the Eskymos scored five times to put the game out of reach. Austin Young had the big hit of that inning: a two-run double. Beversluis added another RBI double, and Alex DeHaan contributed an RBI single. It was a 7-0 Eskymo lead.

David Falish nearly had a no-hitter.
With the game in hand, it came down to whether Falish would get his no-hitter or not. In the final inning, with one out, Jake Harrison hit a fly to left that landed in front of reserve outfielder Travis Heller. Wilson followed with another hit, but Falish got the final two outs to preserve the shutout. He ended up with nine strikeouts in the game.

"(My curveball) was pretty good, but there was a couple of times where I couldn't get it down," Falish said. "We do some live pitching on the field once in the while (in practice), and I've been working in the bullpen a lot." So, did he know that he had a no-hitter going at the end?

"Ya. Nobody (in the dugout) was saying anything because they didn't want to jinx me."

Falish got some help earlier in the game from third baseman Tim Lueneburg. After walking Trevor Miller to start the inning, Miller went to second on a wild pitch and he stole third base. As he did, the throw was bad, and headed for foul territory.


Tim Lueneburg saves a run with his face, literally.
That's when Lueneburg got in front of the ball...unfortunately it hopped up and hit him in the jaw. That saved a run. And then Falish struck out the next two batters. Lueneburg ended up with a red, sore face, and he sat out the second game of the twinbill, holding a big ice pack to it.

The second game got off to a rocky start for the Eskymos, as Olsen made his high school pitching debut with an umpire who had a smaller strike zone than was seen in the first game. Kyle Roe led off the game with a hit, Olsen walked Harrison, and then Wilson doubled home Rudyard's first run. An Olsen wild pitch made it a 2-0 Bulldog lead.

Escanaba tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Young walked and scored all the way from first base on a bad pick-off throw. Vandermissen singled and scored on a double by DeHaan. Young's long shot to the wall in the second inning scored Jeffry Lyle with the go-ahead run, and then things went bad for Rudyard in the third inning.

Bailey Lamb at first base.
An error and a walk started the inning, and then Bailey Lamb singled home a run to make it 4-2. Olsen helped his own cause with an RBI single, and then a bad throw on Lyle's grounder scored two runs to make it 7-2. Young's second RBI hit made it 8-2.

Freshman Alec Slaga drove in Escanaba's final run with a groundout in the fifth inning before the Bulldogs scored two runs in the sixth inning against Andrew Sedlar, who pitched the final two innings. Sedlar struggled against the strike zone in the final inning, walking three batters before getting Kyle Roe to fly out to end the doubleheader.

"Devin wasn't getting ahead in the count, so he had to throw fastballs on fastball counts and they were hitting it on the sweet spot," Schwalbach said. "And Andrew hasn't gotten a lot of work, sitting on the bench all day. I thought he pitched well."

Schwalbach was happy with the play of all of his freshmen, especially Sean Bissell, who caught the second game of the twinbill. Bissell threw out one man on a "strike 'em out throw 'em out" double play, and would have had a second throw-out had the ball not been dropped at second base. Bissell also had a base hit at the plate.

Sean Bissell makes his first start behind the plate.
"I felt pretty good. It was a different experience," said Bissell, who admitted to being a bit nervous for his first start. "(Coach) told me to 'relax, do your thing, you've been a catcher before'. I'm pretty happy."

"Sean does a great job back there," Schwalbach said. "It really makes me feel a lot better have Sean back there, even though Alex and Austin did a good job in Norway. He (Bissell) has a good arm. For a freshman, he does a good job of 'sticking' pitches. He enjoys it and he's coachable, and I was impressed with him."

Escanaba improved to 4-0 with the sweep and will face the Shawano Hawks Saturday afternoon. Game time is 12:30. Both games will be broadcast live on WCHT-AM (600), and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.

NOTE: There are 12 pictures from this doubleheader posted in the box at the upper right of this page. The first seven were taken by Sheila Olsen, and are from the second game. The other five were taken by Lisa Dagenais, are are from the first game. The three video highlights were taken by Mike Dagenais. Thanks to them all for doing this service on a chilly evening!




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Choose team:
Date Time Opponent Score Record
4/13
4:00 PM
at Escanaba Eskymos
0 - 9 (L)
3-2
4/13
6:30 PM
at Escanaba Eskymos
4 - 9 (L)
3-3
6/9
10:00 AM
Rogers City Hurons
8 - 4 (W)
6/9
3:00 PM
Norway Knights
13 - 4 (W)
6/12
3:00 PM
Frankfort
6 - 0 (W)
6/15
10:00 PM
GPW University Liggett
3 - 15 (L)



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