ELY— Clutch hitting seems to be the missing ingredient for the Timberwolves as they head into the Section 7A baseball playoffs next week after going two-for-three during the weekend’s …
ELY— Clutch hitting seems to be the missing ingredient for the Timberwolves as they head into the Section 7A baseball playoffs next week after going two-for-three during the weekend’s Veterans Memorial Showcase here, while losing in non-tournament play on Monday.
The Wolves won big against two easier opponents but couldn’t get the job done against Cherry on Friday and Rock Ridge on Monday.
“Against good teams this past week, we set the table but just didn’t get the job done to give us a chance to pull out a win,” said Ely Head Coach Frank Ivancich. “That has been our story all season long.”
In Monday’s home contest with Rock Ridge, junior hurler Drew Marolt pitched a solid game, allowing just three hits in seven innings worked, but took the loss, 4-0. Rock Ridge scored two runs in the opening frame on an infield hit, two walks, and an Ely throwing error. The Wolverines added two more runs in the third inning on another Ely error and a walk to take a 4-0 lead. Ely, which tallied five hits on the afternoon, put runners in scoring position in the third, fifth, and sixth innings but couldn’t deliver the clutch hits to put runs on the board.
Veterans Memorial tourney
Ely won in a rout in the tournament’s opening contest on Friday, topping Carlton 22-4 in a 14-hit rampage. Ely sophomore Caid Chittum, senior Logan Loe, and freshman Jack Davies each had two hits and two RBIs in the contest. Davies also notched the win working the final three innings, striking out four. Junior Elliott Levens started on the mound for Ely, giving up three runs on a hit, while walking five and fanning three.
Under the lights Friday evening, Cherry came out on top in a 4-3 pitcher’s duel. The Tigers took the lead in the top of the first, but Ely jumped on Cherry starter Noah Asuma for three runs in the bottom half of the frame. Walks to senior Joey Bianco and Chittum set the table for a two-run double by Marolt. Senior Preston Hines brought Marolt home moments later on a double of his own to give the Wolves a 3-1 lead.
But that was all the scoring Ely could muster, while Cherry gradually clawed its way back. Asuma ripped a homer in the fourth to cut Ely’s lead to one. Asuma was hit by a pitch in the top of the sixth inning and came home on a double, followed by a second double that left Cherry on top 4-3.
Ely threatened a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh as Levens singled and Bianco reached on an error, but Asuma got Loe to line out to preserve Cherry’s win.
Pitching for Ely, Loe scattered seven hits, giving up four runs while striking out five. Cherry pitcher Noah Asuma allowed three runs on three hits while striking out seven and issuing three walks.
In the Saturday morning contest, Chittum was red hot as he notched seven RBIs to help lead the Wolves to a 21-0 win over St. Paul Harding. Chittum went four-for-four, including a grand slam homerun. Levens added two hits and three RBIs while freshman Drew Johnson added two hits and two RBIs.
Drew Marolt, Johsnon, and Deegan Richards took turns on the mound for Ely, combing to allow just one hit while striking out eight.
“Going into the last week of games we can only hope that our luck will change and we can start to deliver in clutch situations,” said Ivancich. “As I have stated our pitching has been good and our pitchers have kept us in most of our games this spring, but we still are looking for our hitting to come through when we set the table with runners in scoring positions. Going into the playoffs I really feel that we are battle tested with the schedule we have played. We just need to get a few key players in Erron Anderson [out with hamstring pull] and Hunter Halbakken [out with an arm injury] back at full strength as we start our playoff run.”