First in league, Juniors seek playoff title

by Tom Coombe

Ely’s 13-and-14-year-old baseball players hope to turn regular season success into a postseason championship.
Tuesday, the Ely Juniors wrapped up league play with a 9-1 record, improved to 14-5 overall and clinched a number-one playoff seed by surviving a 12-9 slugfest with Hibbing I.
Dalton Schreffler, one of five pitchers used in the playoff tuneup, got the win in relief.
The victory set the stage for this weekend’s playoffs in Hibbing, where Ely is ranked first among 10 teams.
The first postseason test is slated for 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, when Ely takes on either number-eight Nashwauk-Keewatin or ninth-seeded International Falls.
The semifinals are slated for Saturday, Aug. 6, and the third annual Iron Range Baseball championship game is on Sunday, at 4 p.m., at Hibbing’s Al Nyberg Field.
Eveleth-Gilbert is seeded second in the tournament field, while Babbitt-Embarrass-Soudan-Tower has the number-three slot.
If Ely survives its first game, number-four Greenway or fifth-seeded Hibbing I awaits in a 7:30 p.m., Saturday evening semifinal.
In the regular season finale, Tyler Housey has a big day at the plate, going three-for-four with three runs scored and two runs batted in.
Luke Olson scored three runs and Nils DeRemee went two-for-two.
Other team members are: Bryce Longwell, Liam Ross, Eric Omerza, Tjae Banks, Lane Anderson, Nate Netifee, Dylan Fenske, Mitch Peterson, Joey Pierce, Will Davies, Evan Faltesek, Cameron Kienitz and Brandon Kerntz.