Junior Legion rallies for first summer win

by Tom Coombe
A come-from-behind victory was the highlight of an otherwise difficult week for Ely’s Junior Legion baseball team.
Ely erased a seven-run deficit Monday at Eveleth, rallying for an 11-10 win as Elliot Levens ripped five hits, including a three-run triple.
Down 10-3, Ely rallied to tie the game by the fifth inning and pulled ahead in the top of the sixth.
Jack Mathias got the win in relief, pitching four innings and striking out six while yielding only one earned run.
Mathias, a freshman-to-be, also helped his own cause with three hits, three runs scored. Deegan Richards also chipped in with two hits.
Ely is 1-5 overall, with four losses coming in last weekend’s z’UP North Realty Classic and another coming Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Field, when Virginia scored seven runs in the top of the eighth and prevailed 13-6.
All seven runs were unearned as Virginia capitalized on errors to extend the inning, score the go-ahead run and add plenty of insurance.
Mathias ripped a three-run double in the bottom of the fifth to pull Ely within a run at 6-5, and Sammy Prijatel drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
Losing pitcher Logan Loe went seven-and-two-thirds innings, striking out seven and giving up four earned runs.
At the plate, Richards
led the way with three hits while Erron Anderson and Loe had two hits each and Drew Marolt contributed a two-run double.
Over the weekend, Ely got into a pattern of falling behind early only to rally and come up short.
Tournament champion Hermantown edged Post 248 10-8 in the June 11 opener.
Anderson had two hits and three runs batted in, Preston Hines had two hits including a two-run double and Richards had two hits.
Jacob Towley was the losing pitcher, working four innings, allowing four earned runs and fanning three.
Both Levens and Loe came on in relief.
Saturday, Taconite outscored Ely 11-7 despite three hits and two RBI from Levens.
Hines had two hits and three RBI and Marolt finished with two hits, while Loe struck out eight on the mound.
In the nightcap, Ely fell 14-9 to Excelsior II.
Mathias had a huge night at the plate, with a double and triple part of his four-hit contest.
Anderson had two hits and Jason Kerntz chipped in with a two-run single.
Levens was the losing pitcher while Caid Chittup struck out four in three innings of relief.
Esko roughed up Ely in Sunday’s finale, winning 12-1 in five innings.
Mathias scored Ely’s only run and Marolt was the losing pitcher.
Ely visits International Falls (Tuesday) and Aurora (Wednesday) before Thursday’s home tilt with Cook County, set for a 5 p.m. start.