Escanaba Daily Press

ESCANABA, Mich. — The Escanaba Eskymos swept the Menominee Maroons Tuesday thanks to some skillful work on the mound.

In the nightcap, the Eskymos toppled the Maroons 7-1.

The Maroons held Esky (17-11) to a scoreless first inning, but Esky’s momentum started building in the second. Grant LaMarche doubled on a fly to left field to push Jake LaFave to third. While Jake Anderson was up to bat, LaFave scored on a wild pitch. Anderson cranked a ground ball to score LaMarche to make it 2-1 at the end of the inning.

The third was scoreless for both, and Menominee (0-8) failed to find rhythm in the top of the fourth.

In the bottom half, the Eskymos tacked on one due to a pitching error, and Zeke Strand nabbed two RBIs when he singled on a line drive to right to push the lead to 5-1. They then scored two more in the fifth.

The Maroons’ sole run came in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Zach Starzynski that scored Hunter Goldschmidt.

“Our night was pretty error-free in general,” Esky coach Scott Hanson said. “Zeke Strand’s RBIs were crucial for us. I hope we’re peaking at the right time. We’re playing really good baseball.”

Austin Willette earned the win over seven innings. He struck out seven and allowed two hits, one run (unearned) and walked two. LaMarche went 2 for 2 and finished with two RBIs. Strand collected two RBIs and one hit and Anderson notched one RBI and one run scored.

Dante Sartorelli took the loss for the Maroons over 31/3 innings. He allowed three hits, five runs (four earned) and two walks while striking out four. Carter Berger pitched 22/3 in relief and allowed two hits, two runs and three walks while fanning one. Starzynski finished with the sole RBI and Goldschmidt and Keaton Uecke both notched one hit.

“Austin Willette has exceeded my expectations (at pitcher),” Hanson said. “It’s nice to have a big lefty out there. Those were outstanding performances on the mound from both our guys.”

The Eskymos shut out the Maroons 9-0 in the opener. After a single run in the first, Esky opened it up in the second, tacking on three more. Its second run came on a fielder’s choice that allowed LaMarche to score. Bryant Maki and Anderson both scored to push the lead to 4-0.

Esky then tacked on two in the fourth and three in the sixth.

“We were 5-8 after the doubleheader at Gladstone, and now we’re 17-11,” Hanson said. “So, we’ve won 12 of our last 15, and I think a lot of that has been our approach at the plate. I think we’re getting better that way, but our pitching has been phenomenal for the last 15 games. Our starters are going deep into games and pitching well without walking people.”

Menominee coach John Beyer said errors were a big difference-maker.

“The first game, I thought errors at inopportune times gave them a substantial lead early on,” he said. “We didn’t have too many errors in the second game until later. It’s hard to keep a team like that in check. The second game we were hitting it harder. They weren’t dropping, but the boys were starting to get it. We’ve just got to get some falling in the grass and not in gloves.”

Esky’s Jared Hanson earned the complete game shutout win. He struck out seven and allowed four hits and two walks. Tyler Lawson finished with two RBIs and two hits. Anderson, Colin Ardnt, Craig Kamin and Drew Rodman all collected one hit and one RBI.

Keagan Monroe took the loss for Menominee over 31/3 innings. He allowed three hits, three walks and five runs (three earned) while striking out two. Buddy Beyer pitched 22/3 innings in relief, punching out one, walking two and allowing four runs on five hits. Starzynski, Uecke, Berger and Beyer all collected one hit.

Escanaba hosts Iron Mountain Saturday for a doubleheader, while Menominee hosts Marquette today.