EVELETH — A third inning littered with defensive errors by Eveleth-Gilbert transformed into seven runs of offense for Ely Tuesday as Ely took down E-G 9-2 in Senior Babe Ruth action.
Ely’s seven-run third was brought on by strong hitting from the visitors but they were certainly aided by four fielding and throwing errors from the home team as things quickly got out of hand.
Nils DeRemee at the plate to lead things off for Ely and Brandon Lind pitching for E-G, DeRemee reached on a single after the Eveleth-Gilbert first baseman had to jump into the air to receive the throw.
Tyler Housey then looked to be thrown out at first on the next at-bat but the ball thrown to first sailed over the players’ heads, allowing DeRemee to move to third and Housey to second. Trevor Mattson brought the first run home to score after a blooper to center field but failed to advance Housey from second.
Zach Cheney then came to the plate for Ely. Cheney put the ball into play and Eveleth-Gilbert forced Mattson out at second. An attempt at the double play made for another error as the throw was once again off the mark, allowing Housey to come in score to make it 2-0.
Will Davies reached after being hit by a pitch and Ely looked to be in good position with runners on first and second and one out. Ryan Quick then singled to center field to load up the bases, bringing Tjae Banks to the plate.
Banks put the ball in play perfectly as he dropped the ball into shallow center field, allowing two more runs to come in making it 4-0 Ely. Bralyn Lislegard at the plate, Lislegard then singled down the left field line to bring in the fifth run, ending Lind’s day on the mound.
Andrew Hakly in on relief, Ely’s Dalton Schreffler flew out for out No. 2. All the way through the order, DeRemee returned to the plate and singled to left field to bring home another run. Runners now on one and three, DeRemee took off from first to steal second, allowing Lislegard to take off for home from third.
Eveleth-Gilbert took a split second too long to make their decision. By the time the commitment was made to throw to home, it was already too late to make the play, allowing Lislegard to score and putting DeRemee safely on second.
Eveleth-Gilbert stopped the bleeding there and then had a large mountain to climb if they wanted to get back into the contest.
The home squad was able to get one run back in the bottom of the third. With one out, Jaden Lang singled off of pitcher Bryce Longwell up the middle to put a runner on.
With two outs and Bobby Lind at the plate, Lang stole second to put himself in scoring position. Lind hit for a single, but a throwing error by Ely put the ball out of play, allowing all runners to take two bases, scoring Lang from second in the process. Eveleth-Gilbert couldn’t muster any more offense for the time being, however, and the score sat at 7-1 after three innings.
Ely added one more run in the fourth after Banks drove in another run and another in the sixth thanks to an RBI triple from Cheney. The home team brought one across the plate in the bottom of the seventh after a sacrifice fly from Will Bittmann brought in Andrew Torrel who previously reached on a triple.
Zach Lindseth replaced Hakly on the mound in the sixth for Eveleth-Gilbert while Ely’s Longwell pitched the complete game to get the 9-2 win.
On the win, Ely head coach Tom Coombe says his team carried forward the offensive momentum it had this past weekend at the Ely Blueberry Bash where his squad scored 35 runs in three games.
“They gave us a couple extra outs in that third inning and we took advantage of that opportunity,” Coombe said after the game. “We hit as well this past weekend as we have all year and we were able to keep that going today. Those guys at the bottom of the order were getting key hits for us and that set the tone for the rest of the game.”
On Longwell’s complete game, Coombe said the performance was more than exceptional considering Longwell had to fill in as the starter in the 11th hour.
“Bryce doesn’t do anything fancy. He’s going to throw strikes and our guys have to play defense behind him. But he gets ahead in the count and he’s very efficient on the mound. He came in because one of our other guys was having arm issues before the game and he gave us a heck of a performance I thought.”
For Eveleth-Gilbert, the loss stings and E-G head coach Jamie Lindseth knows a team like Ely will always take advantage of fielding miscues like they did Tuesday.
“They wouldn’t have scored a run if we made our plays,” Lindseth said of the third inning. “I counted four errors in that inning and if you give anyone seven outs in an inning, you’re in trouble. But I told them that it’s at least good that they got this out of their system now instead of in the tournament. They have to get it out of their system today and come back tomorrow ready to play a new game.”
Lindseth believes his team has the ability to do just that: put a bad game behind them and turn things around.
“I don’t think it’ll get them down too much. We have some older leadership on this team and those guys have been through some really lean years when they were eighth and ninth graders and turned it into some really good years here now that they’re older. They’re not happy to lose but they’re hungry to go back out and fix it. If you have three or four bad games like that in a row then it’s going to keep snowballing but our guys know now that this game was today and tomorrow is totally new.”
Eveleth-Gilbert will be in action again Wednesday when they host Hermantown at 5 p.m. Ely will travel to Taconite on Thursday for a 7:15 p.m. battle.