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Friday October 7, 2022
Esky Minors Win In Norway; Force 2nd Title Game

This story was written by RRN Intern Braden Kerr

Facing elimination and the end of their season, the Escanaba Minor Little League All-Star team beat Norway, 8-4, Tuesday night, to force a winner-take-all rematch Wednesday for the District Ten Championship.
Drew Anderson got the start for Escanaba and held the potent Norway offense to only two runs over 4 1/3 innings pitched. Anderson had baserunners to deal with in every inning but pitched well under pressure getting strikeouts to end the inning twice with runners in scoring position.
In the bottom of the first inning the Escanaba bats gave Anderson some cushion on the mound. Blake Gagnon singled and Anderson walked to bring Vinny DeSalvo-Bougie to the plate. He singled home the two runners. Jayce Braun singled and Cameron Jacques reached on an error. Jacques advanced on a wild pitch and a bunt before another wild pitch allowed him to score.
Two Escanaba errors in the top of the second allowed Brock Baldwin to reach base and score the first run for Norway. With a runner on and only one out it looked as though Norway could be on their way to a big inning before Anderson and catcher Jayce Braun executed a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play to end the inning.
Jaxson Walker started for Norway and after the rough start struck out the last two batters in the first inning and the first two batters of the second inning. In 3 2/3 innings Walker would strike out eight batter and allow seven runs on only four hits.
After the two strikeouts to start the inning, Escanaba called on a two out rally to put two more runs on the board. Two errors allowed Anderson and DeSalvo-Bougie to reach base. Anderson scored on the second error. A Braun double brought in DeSalvo-Bougie to extend their lead.
In an almost identical fourth inning, Walker struck out the first two batters before another two-out rally from Escanaba pushed two more runs across the plate. Anderson walked, then another error allowed DeSalvo-Bougie reach base and Anderson to score. Wild pitches brought DeSalvo-Bougie all the way around.
That would spell the end of the night for Jaxson Walker. Zayden Rochon would come on in relief and strike out all three batters in one inning of work. Eli Anderson struck out the final Escanaba batter of the night.
The fifth inning would bring an end to Drew Anderson’s night on the mound. Anderson hit Jake Payette who came in to score on a wild pitch. Cooper Howard reached on an error in the last at-bat for Anderson.
Garret Lannaville came on in relief for Escanaba. Lannaville issued a walk to Jaxson Walker who would score on another wild pitch.
Down 7-3 in the final inning, Norway would threaten but not have enough to overcome the deficit. Lannaville would hit two batters in the inning and Mason Schultz scored on another wild pitch. With one runner on Lannaville struck out the final two batters to close the game.
Both starting pitchers piled up the strikeouts, as did the relief pitchers, but struggled with control at times. Escanaba played tighter defense which proved to be a major part of their win. Whoever can limit their mistakes and take advantage of their opponents’ will most likely capture the championship on Wednesday.
Escanaba passed the first part of the test, but they must duplicate the result to move on. Norway gets the opportunity to get immediate payback to punch their ticket to the next round. The District Championship will take place at 6:30 ET/ 5:30 CT on Wednesday at Marion Park in Norway. It will be broadcast on FM-93.5/AM-600 in Escanaba, and AM-1450 in Norway.

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