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Ely reaches final four in Junior districts

Two wins in three games allowed Ely to stay alive going into the second weekend of the Junior League Baseball District Tournament.After an opening round victory over Deer River at Veterans Memorial Field, Hibbing sent Ely’s 13-and-14-year-olds into the losers’ bracket with a 6-4 extra inning decisionEly then pounced on International Falls, winning the July 10 contest 10-6 and assuring itself of no worse than a fourth-place finish in the eight-team tournament.Play resumed over the weekend in Ely, with Grand Rapids and Hibbing the two remaining unbeaten teams in the tournament and Ely and Greenway tagged with one loss.Ely, coached by Clarence Jordan and Bill Henning, was set to take on Greenway at 2:30 Saturday, and needed four consecutive wins to take the tournament title. The finals were scheduled for Sunday afternoon with the winner advancing to state competition.Ely 12, Deer River 7Five-run outbursts in both the second and fourth frames sent the host team on to a first-round win.Consecutive hits by Jeremy Boedeker, A.J. Pope, John Henning and Pat Lekatz helped Ely to a 6-1 lead after two innings.After Deer River rallied with four runs in the third, Ely answered with a five-run fourth, with doubles by Ben Povhe and Chris Erickson fueling the inning.That was enough for winning pitcher Jacob Wognum, who worked five innings, gave up five hits and struck out two.He was also aided by good defense, including Jon Henning’s throw from right field to nail a runner at the plate.Boedeker scored four runs for Ely, while Lekatz went three-for-four at the plate.Pope, Erickson and Nathan Leustek added two hits each.Hibbing 6, Ely 4A pitchers’ duel between Ely’s Povhe and Hibbing’s Logan Klobuchar went extra innings, and the visitors prevailed in the eighth.Povhe gave up two hits and struck out 10 through seven innings, giving up single tallies in the second and fourth innings.Lekatz, who was four-for-four, tripled and scored on a Povhe single in the fourth and Ely tied it in the sixth when Wognum’s double down the line allowed Lekatz to score from first.Ely advanced runners to second and third in the seventh, but Klobuchar escaped unscathed.In the eighth, Klobuchar started the rally with a double, and he later scored on a throwing error.Another error, a hit batter and two Hibbing hits made it 6-2, but Ely threatened in their half of the inning.Consecutive hits by Lekatz and Povhe started things, and Leustek drove in a run with a single.Seth Butler, who came on in relief, got out of the jam and Ely left the tying runner on base.Ely left nine runners on in the gameEly 10, International Falls 6Sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring eight times, Ely put the game out of reach in the top of the first.Povhe’s two-run single put Ely on top and Lekatz followed with a run-scoring hit.In all, Ely scored eight times on seven hits.Lekatz again led the offense with three hits.Wognum had two hits and Erickson scored twice with two hits. Matt Urbas also scored twice for Ely.Lekatz picked up the pitching win, going the distance, scattering nine hits and fanning four.

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