BLACKDUCK— Dog-tired Timberwolves pitching struggled for one of the first times this season here last Saturday as Ely dropped both games in a mixed doubleheader. It was a let-down for the …
BLACKDUCK— Dog-tired Timberwolves pitching struggled for one of the first times this season here last Saturday as Ely dropped both games in a mixed doubleheader. It was a let-down for the Wolves after stellar performances last Thursday and Friday.
Against Red Lake County just after noon on Saturday, Ely kept it tight through a scoreless three innings. But the Ogichidaag took advantage of an error and three hit batters in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-0 lead. Ely plated a run in the fifth on a Caid Chittum single that scored freshman Hunter Halbakken. The Wolves had other chances in the inning, and left the bases loaded down 4-1, which proved to be the final score.
Halbakken started and lasted three-and-a-third innings, giving up four runs on three hits, while striking out three. Freshman Drew Johnson worked the final two-and-two-thirds innings in relief striking out two.
It proved to be just the opening salvo on a difficult afternoon. In the second game, against Blackduck, the Drakes pounded out 13 hits and scored runs in every inning but the second as they ten-runned the Wolves 13-3. Ely junior pitcher Drew Marolt gave up seven runs on as many hits, in three-and-a-third innings, while freshman Drew Johnson worked an inning and a third in relief, giving up four runs on five hits. Chittum finished up surrendering two runs to the Drakes. At the plate, senior Joey Bianco and junior Elliott Leven each had two hits and an RBI for Ely.
“Saturday’s two losses capped off a long week for the Wolves,” said Head Coach Frank Ivancich, noting that his team had played seven games in six days. “Our pitchers Saturday we not very sharp,” he added.
The Wolves previewed the weekend wipeout with two of their strongest performances of the season so far, crushing Chisholm 17-1 and Nevis 7-0.
“Logan Loe pitched a gem on Friday, scattering four hits while fanning 11 in a 7-0 victory,” said Ivancich. Loe also paced Ely at the plate with two hits and two RBI’s, while Marolt added two hits and 3 RBI’s, including a big two-run double in the 7th inning to give Ely a 7-0 cushion. Bianco led the Wolves with three hits and two stolen bases.
At Chisholm on Thursday, the Wolves blew the game wide open in the top of the first, sending 12 batters to the plate in a seven-run scoring frenzy enroute to a 17-1 shellacking of the Bluestreaks.
The Wolves added nine more runs in the fifth inning on four hits to ten-run the ‘Streaks in a commanding five-inning win. Loe had a huge day at the plate with three hits and five RBIs, while Chittum added three hits of his own on the afternoon.
Levens got the win on the mound for Ely, going the distance while giving up just two hits, while striking out five and issuing five walks.
The Wolves had a much-deserved break in the early part of this week as they prepared for the annual Veteran’s Memorial Showcase set for this Friday and Saturday, with games played in both Ely and Soudan. Ivancich was hopeful that the team’s pitching would be back strong after a few days rest.
The Wolves will kick off the two-day tournament with a noon start on Friday against Carlton. They’ll finish the Friday competition with a 7:30 p.m. match-up with Cherry. The Wolves will be back in action at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday as they host St. Paul Harding. Lake of the Woods will play at the Soudan field on Saturday as part of the tournament, taking on Cook County at 11 a.m. and Silver Bay at 1:30 p.m.
The Wolves will stay at home early next week, hosting International Falls on Tuesday.