VFW heads into postseason

Ely seeded fifth, downs Hibbing 8-7 in final regular season game

by Tom Coombe

Ely’s VFW baseball team closed the regular season on a strong note and will head into the postseason with both momentum and a winning record.
Zach Anderson wiggled out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the seventh as Post 2717 held on and won 8-7 at Hibbing on Tuesday night.
The victory capped a long climb back from a 2-5 start for Ely, which won eight of its last 12 games to finish the regular season 10-9.
Ely will take the number-five seed into the eight-team North Subdistrict Playoffs, which start Sunday.
Number-four Virginia stands in the way as a first-round opponent in a contest set for 12:30 p.m., at Nashwauk.
Hibbing is seeded third in the tournament, but Ely served notice it will be a contender with a strong outing.
Austin Kallberg had three hits, including a two-run infield single that capped a three-run rally in the top of the sixth.
Trailing 7-5, Ely pounced in the sixth with consecutive singles by Joey Pierce and Dylan Kienitz.
Trea Schreffler was hit by a pitch, and Luke Olson drew a bases-loaded walk to trim the gap to one. It set the stage for Kallberg, who beat out a single that allowed both Kienitz and Schreffler to score.
Anderson took care of the rest, getting out of trouble in the seventh with a force out at the plate and a double play on an infield pop up. The sophomore righthander gave up one hit and fanned three.
Kienitz started and pitched the first three innings, while Thomas Montana came on in the fourth before giving way to Anderson.
Ely split two games Saturday, downing Cook County 5-3 but falling 9-5 to International Falls, the top-seeded team in the subdistrict.
Winning pitcher Quintin Pecha tossed a complete-game six-hitter against Cook County, and weathered a fifth-inning rally when the visitors pulled to within one run. The lefty wound up with six strikeouts.
Pierce and Montana paced the Ely offense with two hits each.
International Falls held Ely to only four hits in the nightcap.
Dalton Schreffler scored twice and Tyler Housey knocked in two runs.
On the mound, Dalton Schreffler tossed a complete-game and suffered the loss. He scattered 11 hits and gave up five earned runs.
The top-four finishers in the subdistrict advance to the Eighth District VFW Playoffs, which start July 31 at Grand Rapids.