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No mercy: IM squad falls to Esky 15-1

ESCANABA — The Escanaba Little League All-Star Major Boys sped past Iron Mountain North in the loser’s bracket of the Little League All-Stars Majors District 10 tournament with a 15-1, four-inning, mercy win Monday in Escanaba.

Leading 2-0 entering the top of the third inning, Escanaba was looking to avoid a repeat of the previous night’s loss against a Norway rally (6-5) in the tournament opener, and Griffin Johnson answered the call by eluding a tag on his way to home plate to kick off a four-run inning.

Just after, Tim Robitaille earned a double with a shot to center to put one on base, but an out followed to put Iron Mountain just one away from closing the inning.

Then, Alex Irving hit one that was missed by the fielder to let Robitaille score.

The next two Esky batters, Isaiah Davis and Nolan Van Damme, each scored one runner apiece on a triple and double respectively to let Escanaba lead 6-0 exiting the top of the third after a strikeout from Iron Mountain’s Josiah Ringel, who pitched the first three and two-thirds innings.

After four scoreless batters from Iron Mountain, a double play from Esky pushed the game into the top of the fourth.

Johnson and Nick Martinson, kicked off the scoring for Escanaba again, sparking a nine-run inning to seal the game (thanks in no small part to a home run from Martinson to cap the inning) and ensure Escanaba continued on.

Iron Mountain faced an uphill battle in the bottom of the fourth, needing six runs to prevent a mercy-rule end.

Hayden Grunlund earned Iron Mountain’s only hit of the game on a left field single.

Esky opened up the first inning with two runs kicked off by Johnson, who crossed home plate on a fielding error to make it 1-0. Robitaille then drove in Martinson with a single to make it 2-0.

Robitaille pitched a one-hitter for Escanaba and finished with two doubles and an RBI. Davis and Van Damme picked up two RBIs apiece, and Martinson finished with a homer.

Escanaba moves on to play again today at 4:30 p.m. to try to continue its postseason run.

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