Sarles Outduels Gardner In Lightning-Fast Game

Click the thumbnails to see photos courtesy of Scott Johnson, and to hear post-game comments from Marquette's Isaac Sarles, Chase Niemi, and Manager Mark Pantti.

Isaac Sarles threw a five-hit complete game shutout and the Marquette Sentinels took advantage of several Escanaba Eskymos defensive mistakes in posting a 3-0 win Wedmesday night at Marquette's Haley Field. Sarles outdueled Escanaba's Eli Gardner, who allowed only four hits and one earned run in six innings of work

The game took just 1 hour, 29 minutes to play, as both pitchers took advantage of a large strike zone.vMeanwhile, at the same time, the Great Northern Conference standings tightened with the Gladstone Braves beating the Kingsford Flivvers, 5-2, in Gladstone.

"We've had some ups and downs in our conference play," Marquette Manager Mark Pantti said. "Most of our games, except when we were in Escanaba (a 13-1 loss on April 30) have been really good games. We're right there in the fight. I'm just proud of this team. We're resilient."

Escanaba Manager Scott Hanson did not appear for his usual post-game radio interview.

Marquette scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on three Eskymo errors and a base hit by Aiden McCullum. Gardner worked out of  a bases loaded jam to keep it 2-0 in the fifth inning, but he walked two men in the sixth inning and #9 hitter Chase Niemi delivered an RBI single to make it a 3-0 game for Marquette.

Both teams stranded seven baserunners in the game.

Sarles, the Marquette ace pitcher, struck out nine batters and walked four. The future St. Norbert College Green Knight picked up the win by throwing 101 pitches. He says he gets up whenever he pitches against Escanaba or Gladstone.

"We're always fighting with them," Sarles said. "Last year, we split with both of them. We (he and Gardner) have been pitching against each other for a while now. You just have to really lock in and take control of the game. The way he (umpire) was calling it was low, which I really like. It just worked. Everything was perfect."

Niemi's hit in the sixth inning was the only RBI of the game.

"My last at-bat before that, I got a bunch of curveballs, so I knew to stay middle of the plate and I worked it to a 3-1 count," Niemi said. "I was able to sit on one and hit one out there."

Gardner threw well, allowing only four hits and although he walked three batters in the later innings, he was in control with his curveball that was consistantly called for a strike. Gardner retired nine of the first ten men he faced before his defense let him down in the fourth inning.

Escanaba senior Bon LaChance had a single, double, and a walk to lead the offense, but he was picked off of second base in the top of the fourth inning of a 0-0 game. Nolan Bink, Ben Johnson, and Lenny Peacock had Escanaba's other base hits.

Marquette improved to 7-7 on the season, and will play Saturday against Calumet.

Escanaba (9-8) will be back on the field Thursday on Senior Day against Menominee, and then will host Kingsford and Sault Ste. Marie in a big triangular on Saturday. The Eskymo games at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. will be broadcast live on FM-93.5, AM-600, and

LISTEN: Chase Niemi post-game comments
LISTEN: Marquette Manager Mark Pantti comments
LISTEN: Isaac Sarles post-game comments