Rymkos, Johnson Carry Eskymos Past Manistique

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and to hear post-game comments from Ashton Rymkos, Ben Johnson, and Eskymo Manager Scott Hanson.

Sophomore Ashton Rymkos smacked his first varsity home run and senior Ben Johnson starred on both offense and defense as the Escanaba Eskymos beat the Manistique Emeralds, 9-3, Monday night, at Al Ness Field.

Manistique jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Eskymo freshman pitcher Brody Ison walked four batters and gave up a pop-fly single to Parker Graphos to bring home an Emeralds run. But senior Nick Chiu came on to throw the final six innings to earn the win.

Johnson smacked a ball to the left-center field gap that rolled all the way to the warning track to plate two runs for the Eskymos in the bottom of the first inning, tying the game at 2. Then after pitcher Isaiah Brow struck out the next two batters, a dropped fly ball in right field opened the door for the Eskymos as Johnson came home to score the go-ahead run.

Nolan Bink followed with an RBI single to give Escanaba a 4-2 lead after one very long first inning.

In the top of the second inning, Johnson made one of the best defensive plays of the season as he jumped high into the air to steal a base hit from Kody Brudvik. In the bottom of the inning, Chiu led off with a perfect bunt single and stole second, but he was caught trying to steal third base as Masin Tryan had a strong game behind the plate for Manistique.

Manistique closed to within 4-3 in the top of the third inning when Brow led off with a single and Cooper Curtis followed with a hit, putting two men on base. Graphos bunted them both into scoring position, and Alex Noble's sacrifice fly plated an Emerald run.

It was still 4-3 in the top of the fourth inning when Mack Pugh led off with a shot toward left field. But there was Johnson, fielding the ball, and throwing while on one leg, for the out.

Escanaba scratched across a run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Rymkos walked, got bunted to second by Chiu, moved to third on a Chase Cloutier single, and scored on a ground ball by Eli Gardner.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Brow walked Mikaden Hughes and Brian Boutlier. With two out, they both rode home on the first varsity home run for the sophomore Rymkos. All of a sudden, a 5-3 game turned into an 8-3 contest.

In the sixth inning, Gardner smacked a double and scored on Johnson's third hit of the game, making it a 9-3 score. But Johnson wasn't done yet.

In the top of the seventh, Brudvik led off with a single. With one out, Brow hit one toward the left side. Johnson moved over from short, grabbed it, and threw to first for the 6-3 double play, ending the game.

Escanaba improved to 11-10 on the season with the win. Manistique, playing all of its games this season on the road because of a grub infestation at its home field, fell to 6-13.

LISTEN: Scott Hanson post-game comments
LISTEN: Ashton Rymkos post-game comments
LISTEN: Ben Johnson post-game comments
LISTEN: Manistique Manager Greg Bambaugh comments