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Legion shuts down Marble

Ely's American Legion baseball team displayed its pitching depth in its season-opener: a 6-1 victory at Marble last Monday night.Post 248's top three returning pitchers - Josh Mathson, Tim Scott and Josh Weckman - combined on a three-hitter and were in command throughout the contest.Mathson worked the first three innings. Scott came on for the next three and Weckman pitched the seventh.They allowed one hit each and combined to strike nine Marble batters, including two straight 'Ks' by Weckman to end the game."We wanted to get all three of those guys some work and I thought they were all sharp," said Ely Head Coach Tom Coombe. "We know that we have three very good pitchers back, three guys who would be number-one pitchers on just about any team in our division, and we're going to count on pitching to be successful."Ely only got four hits, but made good use of them.All came in the first two innings, when Post 248 had matching three-run frames.In the first, a bunt single by Kevin Pope and a hit to center by Josh Mathson set the table.Pope scored on a throwing error, and after Mathson was forced out on a Weckman groundout, Cory Lassi lined a run-scoring single to right.Lassi scored when Joel Dostert reached base on an error.Mathson, Weckman and Lassi all drew two-out walks in the second, and Ben Barnes brought them all home on a hit to right field.That was it for the Ely offense, as Marble pitcher Brandon Vogel settled down and kept Ely in check the rest of the way.The righthander struck out seven in the game."He kept us off balance," said Coombe. "I think we may have got a little comfortable, because six runs seemed like it was going to be enough."Brian Eckholm had two of the three hits for Marble, which consists of players from Greenway High School.Marble got its only run in the fourth. It came against Scott and was aided by an Ely error.It was a conference win for Post 248, which is joined by Marble, Chisholm, Nashwauk-Keewatin and Brookston in the Eighth District Division II race.Over the weekend, Ely took part in the Land of the Loon Tournament in Virginia, taking on Proctor, Grand Rapids and the host Virginia team."It will be a step up in competition for us," Coombe said of the Virginia tourney. "Our schedule includes some bigger programs like Virginia and Grand Rapids and I think that will only make us stronger."

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