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Legion streak reaches record

The 2004 Ely American Legion baseball team now has its own place in local baseball history.Ely is unbeaten in 18 games, easily the best start in program history, and the squad now has won more consecutive games - 19 - than any other Ely Legion squad.Ely’s 13-3 win over Virginia in the Midsummer Classic (see related story) gave the club its program-best 17th consecutive win.Wednesday night at Brookston, Ely pounded its hosts 18-3 in five innings to raise its season record to 18-0 and extend the team win streak to 19 games, dating back to the third-place game in last year’s state tournament.Post 248 goes to Cloquet today in the midst of a busy swing to end the regular season. Following a weekend double-dip with West Duluth, Ely has games with Cloquet, Brookston, Nashwauk-Keewatin and Chisholm this week as the regular season winds down.Postseason play begins July 30 with the start of the Eighth District Division II Tournament at Ely.Ely inched closer to securing the number one seed for the district tournament with the shellacking at Brookston.There was little doubt about the outcome from the opening pitch.Josh M athson clubbed a 3-0 pitch over the rightfield fence in the top of the first inning. It was the first of two home runs for the slugger on the night, and it ignited a three-run first frame.Mathson, who already owns the single-season Ely Legion record with 11 home runs this summer, connected for a three-run bomb in the second inning, and Ely was up 8-0 after two innings and 11-3 after three.The hits just kept on coming for Post 248, and Ely finished with 14 in the game and raised its season batting average to .359.Mathson was three-for-three with five runs scored and five runs batted in, and teammate Aaron Thom was three-for-three with four runs scored.Both Mathson (.624) and Thom (.586) are well above the .500 mark at the plate this season. Mathson has a team-high 34 RBI and Thom has knocked in 25 runs.Cory Lassi had two singles and drove in three runs against Brookston, while both Jeff Kotzian and David Urbas added two hits.That was enough to support winning pitcher Phil Brodeen, who tossed a five-hitter and raised his record to 3-0 for the season.• Thursday’s home game with Nashwauk-Keewatin was postponed when N-K was unable to field nine players for the contest. The game will be made up at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, at Ely.

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