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Shorthanded, 14U suffers first defeat

If Ely’s age 14 and under baseball team ends up with only one loss all summer, an asterisk might be needed beside the listing of Monday night’s game at Rock Ridge.

That’s because Ely’s depleted lineup was missing four starters as it fell for the first time in nine contests. Rock Ridge III derailed the league leaders 13-3 in five.

The hosts erupted in the bottom of the first, with the first six batters reaching  base. Five of them scored and Rock Ridge sent 10 batters to the plate during the marathon inning.

It was more of the same the rest of the way, with Rock Ridge plating three more runs in the second and going on to finish Ely off in five.

Drew Johnson provided the bulk of the offense for Ely (8-1), scoring twice and going two-for-three at the plate. Owen Marolt singled and scored a run and Hunter Halbakken finished with two hits and two runs batted in.

Evan Leeson was tagged with the loss on the mound and Marolt came on in relief.

Ely heads into the final week of the regular season Monday and visits Vermilion Range, and makeup games are on tap with Greenway, Grand Rapids and Hibbing I to finish things off before the playoffs begin Aug. 1 at home sites.

The rest of the Iron Range Baseball league tournament is slated for Aug. 4-6 at Ely’s Veterans Memorial Field.

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