'PABLO' SHINES: Flivvers Blow Past Eskymos, 9-1

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and for interviews with Kingsford's Pablo Finley, Escanaba's Chase Cloutier, and Eskymo Manager Scott Hanson.

ESCANABA---The Kingsford High School baseball team won a Great Northern Conference game for the second straight night Wednesday night, taking out the Escanaba Eskymos, 9-1, at Al Ness Field. The win follows a 6-2 win over Marquette the night before, putting the Flivvers in the early driver's seat in the GNC conference race.

Andres “Pablo” Finley limited the Eskymos to just three base hits in the complete game pitching performance, and the Flivvers scored seven runs in the top of the first inning to take control of the game. Kingsford took advantage of four walks from Eskymo pitcher Bon LaChance, and Escanaba made three errors as well.

“That first inning was, hopefully, as bad as we can play,” Escanaba Manager Scott Hanson said. “We can't play any worse than that. Obviously, it's a really good team, so they earned some of it, and obviously, some of it was given, and they took advantage of the situation. That's baseball. Once in a while you have a bad day, and we have a few of these games every year.”

Gavin Grondin's two-run single was the big hit of that inning. Finley had an infield single for an RBI during that rally as well as Kingsford sent 13 batters to the plate. And from there, Finley was in control on the mound, allowing just three hits in the six innings of work. He walked four batters, but also had good defense behind him.

“My fastball was moving, so I had to throw that and make them hit the ball on the ground,” Finley said. “My knuckle-curve was working really well, my change-up was working really well. It was a great day.”

It was also a “great day” for Flivvers catcher Jack Kriegl, especially in the fourth inning. Kriegl threw out Mikaiden Hughes trying to steal second base, and he also caught a foul fly ball near the netting off the bat of Brody Ison.

Also defensively, the Flivvers got a big 5-3 double play when LaChance bounced a ball to Jonah Doenier with runners at first and second and one out in the first inning. Doenier touched the bag at third for the force, then threw to first base for the double play.

Escanaba's only run came on a delayed steal in a first-and-third situation in the fourth inning by Ashton Rymkos. He had one of Escanaba's three base hits.

The Eskymos lost second baseman Eli Gardner to an apparent concussion in the second inning after he was hit by a baserunner trying to break up a double play.

“He's going to get checked by the doctor tomorrow (Thursday) and see where he's at,” Hanson said. “Hopefully, it's not too serious, but if it is, we'll just deal with it and move on. I think he was just a little out of position on the play, and he ended up with a hip to the head. Eli is a tough one to replace, but guys are gonna have to step up.”

Finley was effective on the mound for the Flivvers, allowing base hits only to Nick Chiu, Rymkos, and LaChance. By the time LaChance smoked his double in the sixth inning, though, the game was essentially over, and Kingsford had a huge win.

“Great conference win, great win for the boys,” Finley said. “Great to get the confidence up. It's just what we needed.”

Escanaba fell to 5-2 on the season while Kingsford improved to 4-5.

The two teams also played another game, with mostly JV players on the field. The Eskymos won that one, 12-2. Chase Cloutier threw all four innings of the mercy-shortened win, allowing three hits and only one earned run.

“Go in, throw strikes, and let the defense play,” Cloutier said. “Cannon Arnt had a great game at third, and the rest of the defense was good, except for a few bad hops in the infield. I mean, let's have fun. I'm not really a pitcher. I haven't pitched at all this year or last year in high school. But, Coach threw me out there and said, hey, have fun, throw strikes, and see what happens.”

Escanaba travels to Negaunee for a single game on Thursday, and has games on the road this weekend at Green Bay Notre Dame and Appleton North. The Flivvers have no games until next Monday, when they host Gladstone for a doubleheader.


LISTEN: Scott Hanson post-game comments
LISTEN: Andres Finley post-game comments