LATE NIGHT WINNER: Esky Holds Off Marinette
Click the thumbnails above to see photos and videos, and to hear post-game comments from Nick Kolich and Cubs Manager Jon Bintner.
MARINETTE, Wis---The Escanaba Cubs American Legion baseball team scored four runs in the final two innings to beat Marinette, 6-2, late Friday night, in the first game of the Marinette Firecracker Tournament in Wisconsin.
The Cubs squandered several scoring chances early in the game, but Grant LaMarche battled threw five innings without his best stuff on the mound to get his team into sixth inning in a tie game at 2-2. Then Escanaba got to Marinette pitcher Jaden Werner in the top of the sixth to grab the lead and Hunter Lancour and Nick Kolich pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
In that sixth inning, with one out, Bryce Blixt was safe on an error and Kolich smacked a base hit past the third baseman. It was Kolich's second hit of the game after he drove one to the left field fence ealier in the game to drove in a run. That was all for Werner, Crivitz High School graduate.
Tyler Lawson bounced a grounder against new Marinette pitcher Alec Grandaw to bring home the go-ahead run. Then, Hector Aaraguyan smacked an RBI single, his second hit after ripping a double to the center field fence earlier, to give Escanaba a 4-2 lead.
Lanacour walked the leadoff man in the bottom of the sixth and took a shot off of his leg for a base hit from Keaton Uecke, but he got out of the inning without allowing a run.
Then in the top of the seventh, Escanaba got insurance runs when LaMarche walked, Jack McEvers legged out a double (for his second hit of the game) and then Connor Aiken slapped one past the pitcher and into center field for a two-run single that made it 6-2.
Lancour tried to use his final eight pitches wisely in the bottom of the seventh but gave up a hit to Austin Burnside (his second of the game) and then had to leave with a 3-2 count on Braeden McMahon because he reached 30 pitches and the Cubs want to use him on Saturday.
Enter, Kolich, who shut down a strong Green Bay Preble team in relief last Saturday but lost because of defensive errors. Kolich walked McMahon but got Werner to hit a fly ball to right field. Unfortunately, it was dropped. and the bases were loaded with no outs.
Kolich fell behind Preston Rehwinski 3-1 in the count but battled back for the strikeout. Then he got Kougar Wagner and Grandaw to fly out (sharply) to center field to end the game.
LaMarche earned the pitching win, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out six while throwing 98 pitches in five innings. Kolich earned the save.
Werner took the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings on 104 pitches. He struck out six and walked three.
Escanaba will play two more games in Marinette on Saturday. The first game at 11 a.m. CT/12 noon ET is against Green Bay Preble. Then the Cubs will take on Watertown at 6:30 ET/5:30 CT. That game will be broadcast on FM-93.5, AM-600, and www.rrnsports.com.