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Prep report: Esko baseball rallies for walk-off win over Proctor

May 30—Esko battled its way out of big trouble and ensured it won't have to battle its way out of the elimination bracket yet in the Section 7AA baseball tournament, as Dylan Marciulionis drove in the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the seventh in a 9-8 victory over Proctor in Esko on Thursday, May 30.

Esko, the defending Class AA state champions, trailed 7-1 going to the bottom of the fifth inning and was down to its last out down 8-6 in the bottom of the seventh. Jamis Halverson kept the game alive with a single that advanced Sam Haugen to third. Jackson Peterson brought in one run with another single before he and Connor Pearce came home on Marciulionis' double to the outfield.

It was Marciulionis' fourth hit of the game, while Halverson had two. Peterson grabbed the win in relief for Esko, which will play Duluth Marshall on Tuesday for a berth in the 7AA title game.

Cooper Johnson went 3-for-5 and Ethan Carter and Tyler Berglund had two hits apiece for Proctor.

Proctor lived to fight another day, getting past Rush City 10-5 in an elimination game later Thursday.

That puts the Rails into another elimination game on Tuesday afternoon against Mora at Wade Stadium.

Rush City ousted Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 6-5 to set up its shot at Proctor.

Owen Marsolek had his way with the Mora Mustangs, as the Duluth Marshall pitcher fanned 13 in a 4-0 shutout win at Wade Stadium in Duluth on Thursday.

Marsolek tossed a three-hitter to put the Hilltoppers in the semifinals vs. Esko at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Wade Stadium.

Tanner Carlson had a pair of hits for Marshall, which had eight hits as a team. Owen Hayden's two-run triple gave them a 2-0 lead in the second inning.

Mora found its hitting to stave off elimination and dismiss Moose Lake/Willow River 4-1 in the ensuing elimination game, as Owen Szoka held the Rebels to four hits, two of them from Hayden Danelski, in a complete game.

MLWR reached the nightcap on Thursday after knocking out a top-four seed, Mesabi East, 15-3. The Rebels racked up 15 hits, three apiece from Layne Radzak and Danelski, and put up two separate six-run innings.

The host Greyhounds got off to a bad start but kept their season alive by defeating Cambridge-Isanti 8-4 in an elimination game on their home field in Duluth.

The Bluejackets scored three runs in the top of the first inning from two singles, an error and a sacrifice fly, but East took a 4-3 lead in the third inning and then went ahead for good by scoring four times in the bottom of the sixth, as Joe Nick's RBI single broke the tie and a Bjorn Lind two-run double gave East some breathing room.

Four Greyhounds had two hits apiece. East, the fifth seed, will face Blaine in an elimination game on Saturday at Forest Lake.

John Scott's monster home run put the finishing touches on a big 9-3 win for Duluth Denfeld over Hermantown in tournament play on Thursday at Terry Egerdahl Field in Proctor.

The Hunters pounded out 14 hits with five players recording multi-hit games.

That was more than enough support for Nolan Harju, who allowed two runs and scattered four hits and five walks.

Denfeld will face three-time defending section champions Grand Rapids in Grand Rapids on Saturday afternoon.

The Thunderhawks won a nailbiter 5-4 over Rock Ridge.

Both sides scored two runs in the seventh inning. The Wolverines were smelling an upset when Tate Uhan's two-run homer gave them the lead, but the tying run scored on an error and Ari Lamppa's RBI double won the game.

Hibbing will face Hermantown on Saturday at Wade Stadium after the Bluejackets doubled up North Branch 8-4 in an elimination game on Thursday, scoring in each of their first five at-bats.

Rock Ridge will host Chisago Lakes on Saturday after the Wildcats dumped Cloquet 6-4 in Lindstrom on Thursday.

The Lumberjacks rallied from 3-0 down to tie but gave up three more runs before a late rally fell short.

Nico Gentilini had two of Cloquet's four hits.

Top seed Cherry and second seed South Ridge booked a clash in Tuesday's section semifinal at Aurora after both claimed shutout victories on their home fields in winner's bracket games on Thursday.

The Panthers wiped out Ely, 10-0, scoring five times in their first at-bat.

Gavin Willeck finished 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Kai Tuominen and Kingsley Archambult had multi-hit games. Willeck (four innings) and Christian Pretasky combined on a five-inning two-hitter on the mound.

Meanwhile, in Iron, Cherry dispatched Deer River 3-0 in a 14-strikeout no-hit performance by hurler Noah Sundquist. Mason Heitzman's two-run double, one batter after Sundquist singled in the game's first run, proved to be all the scoring the Tigers would need.

Both losing quarterfinal teams were able to recover to win elimination games, with Deer River knocking out Chisholm 7-4 after the Bluestreaks had ousted Cromwell-Wright 2-1.

Silver Bay won one slugfest, 13-7 over Mountain Iron-Buhl, but couldn't survive a second, as Ely came away with a 13-12 victory.

The Timberwolves and Warriors will play Tuesday in Aurora, with the winner facing the Cherry-South Ridge loser for the second spot in the Section 7A final.

North Branch completed a stunning run through the Section 7AAA softball tournament, defeating Grand Rapids 3-1 in the final on Thursday at Wheeler Field.

The Vikings beat four of the five teams seeded above them, capping it off against the fifth-seeded Thunderhaws on a two-hitter from Hannah Bernier, and Amanda Charpentier's two-run homer in the first inning proved to be all the scoring they'd needed.

Led by medalist Lance Slayer, Cloquet booked a return to the Class AA state boys golf tournament by winning the Section 7AA title after competition concluded on Thursday at Giants Ridge's Quarry course in Biwabik.

Slayer had a two-day total of 7-over 151 to win by a shot.

Hermantown finished second by six shots in the team standings, with Holden Evjen qualifying for state as an individual. Others to make the cut included Andrew Slatten of Hibbing, Jack Slattengren of Hermantown, Cade Peterson of Two Harbors and Caiden Carpenter of Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin.

Rock Ridge also defended its girls' championship with Hermantown in second. Allie Lamppa of Mesabi East and Jayla Jones of Proctor/Esko earned state tournament berths.

Kyle Peterson's total of 7-over was enough to get the junior a spot in the state Class AAA golf tournament.

The Greyhounds finished third as a team in the two-day event that wrapped up on Thursday at Grand National in Hinckley, but Peterson was one of the five best players not from section champ Elk River.

East's Abby Schintz finished sixth among individual girls to grab the last spot from Section 7 at the state meet.

The Duluth Wolfpack moved one step closer to a section final, topping Blaine 9-6 in a Section 7A quarterfinal on Tuesday night at East High School.

Stats were not provided.

Duluth will host Champlin Park, which knocked off Hermantown/Proctor 15-3 in Hermantown on Thursday, in the semifinals.

On the other side of the bracket, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton also lost at home, 16-8 to Centennial.

Two goals apiece from senior captain Gabby Black and freshman Ella Hron weren't enough to get Duluth Marshall out of a big hole at home, as visiting Centennial came away with a 17-5 win in the Hilltoppers' first section tournament game on Thursday.

Anna Hron made 14 saves in the defeat.

The Duluth Wolfpack were also upset at home, 13-7 by Andover. Grand Rapids/Greenway made it to the section semis, doubling up Anoka 12-6.