Thursday, July 2, 2015

Omerza notches shutout as Ely downs Virginia for third straight win

A season-long search for a third starting pitcher may have ended Thursday at Virginia, where Ely's Elliot Omerza recorded his first career shutout.

The senior righthander fired a three-hitter and seemed to get stronger as the game progressed, striking out the side in the seventh as Ely slipped past Virginia 1-0 to gain its third straight win.

Consecutive hits by Gage Merhar, Patrick Huisman and Will Gustafson resulted in the game's only run in the top of the fifth inning, and Omerza made that lead hold up.

After escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third inning with the help of a double play, Omerza allowed only one hit the rest of the way.

He finished with a season-high eight strikeouts, including six in the final three frames, en route to his first pitching win of the summer.

Omerza was also backed up by a strong Ely defense, which overcame two errors and kept Virginia in check.

Post 248 struggled for much of the game against righthander Colton Herring, a junior from Cherry who has bolstered the Virginia pitching rotation.  The 6-4 Herring held Ely without a hit until the fifth inning and finished with a four-hitter and six strikeouts.

Herring stranded two Ely runners in the fifth but couldn't escape trouble in the sixth, when Merhar's line drive down the right field line started the rally with two out. Huisman's single to right-center put runners at the corners, and Gustafson lined a Herring pitch right up the middle to end the stalemate.

Omerza stranded one Virginia runner in the sixth and closed the game with three consecutive strikeouts.

After a break for the Fourth of July holiday, Ely is back in action Monday with a district doubleheader at Cook County (4 p.m.).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Huisman blanks Two Harbors, Ely wins second straight

Thanks to another strong pitching performance and an errorless outing in the field, Ely's American Legion baseball team has its first winning streak of the summer.

Patrick Huisman blanked Two Harbors on four hits and never allowed a runner to reach second base in an 8-0 district road victory Wednesday night.

Huisman, who gained his fourth win of the summer, struck out six and walked just one batter while going the distance.

And after struggling against Two Harbors lefty Kyle Omtvedt early in the game, Ely broke through with a run in the top of the fourth and scored seven more times - on eight hits - over the last three innings.

Eliot Omerza reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a balk and scored on consecutive wild pitches as Ely got on the board and took a 1-0 lead.

A Kyle Durbin bunt single helped set the table in the fifth, when both Will Gustafson and Elliot Omerza lined run-scoring hits.

Pinch-hitter Cole Kellogg laced a run-scoring single in the sixth and Gustafson followed with a two-run single, and the rout was on.  Spencer Gaulke doubled in a run in the seventh and pinch-hitter Nick Montana drove in another with a single.

Omerza, Gaulke, Patrick Huisman and Gustafson all finished with two hits for Post 248, which is back in action Thursday at Virginia.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Timely hitting, Gustafson's gem, solid ‘D’ add up to win at Taconite

Ely's American Legion baseball team played flawless defense for the first time this summer, and the result was a convincing win Tuesday night at Marble.

College freshman Will Gustafson tossed a complete-game seven-hitter and Ely went without an error, while a four-run fourth-inning provided more than enough offense as Post 248 downed Taconite 7-1.

Gustafson, back after a weeklong trip to Cuba, gave up a first-inning run but settled in after that and avenged a loss to the same team just over two weeks ago.

Ely broke a one-all deadlock in the fourth by scoring four runs, all with two outs. The key blow was a two-run single by Patrick Huisman, who finished with three runs batted in.

Spencer Gaulke's sacrifice fly earlier in the frame put Ely ahead to stay, while Kyle Durbin also added a run-scoring hit during the frame.

Leadoff man Jeff Willis had two hits and scored two times for the winners, and Tayler Banks added two hits. Ely finished with 10 hits against losing pitcher Jeff Korpi, with all but one starter getting at least one hit.

Gustafson recorded six strikeouts and walked only two batters en route to his second win of the summer, and the righthander induced a double-play ball to escape trouble in the sixth inning.

The Ely defense, meanwhile, put together its best outing of the season and bounced back after committing six errors in a Saturday loss to Kenyon.

Schedule set for second Ely Baseball Days celebration

For the second year in a row, the month of July augers a baseball celebration in Ely.

The second annual Ely Baseball Days begins July 7 and runs through July 19, and includes a pair of tournaments, numerous special events and a whopping 36 games at Veterans Memorial Field.

Both the 11-team Sir G's Midsummer Legion Classic and the North Subdistrict VFW Playoffs will be held during the event, and Ely's Legion Alumni Game, scrapped because of rain June 20, has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 18.

The event kicks off July 7 with a tripleheader, including a VFW twinbill with International Falls and a 7 p.m. Legion contest between Ely and Esko.  It will be Little League night at the ballpark, with all Little League teams introduced during the Legion game and hot dogs on sale for $1.

Numerous other festivities are planned during Ely Baseball Days, including concession stand specials, an Ely baseball history display, the July 17 dedication of the new scoreboard with Minnesota  Power Night at the ballpark, and a salute to veterans the same evening.

A tentative schedule is below

Schedule of Events
Tuesday July 7
Little League Night
All Hot Dogs $1
VFW - Int. Falls at Ely (2), 2 p.m.
Legion Game - Esko at Ely, 7 p.m.
Ely Little League Champions recognized before game,
2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams to be recognized during game

Wednesday July 8
Junior Three-way tripleheader
Ely vs. Cook County, 3 p.m., Virginia vs. Cook County, 5:15p.m.,
 Ely vs Virginia, 7:30 p.m.
All Hot Dogs $1
Giveaway Night
Drawing for $100 Cash - People receive tickets with each concession purchase,
with drawing during 7:30 p.m. game (must be present)

Friday July 10
Sir G's Midsummer Legion Classic
Games at 9 and 11:15 a.m.., 1:30, 3:45, 6 and 8:15 p.m.
Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital Night/
Ely Baseball Days Recognition Ceremony, Ely VFW, Ely Juniors on field
Ely Baseball HIstory Display

Saturday July 11
Sir G's Midsummer Legion Classic
Games at 8:30, 10:45 a.m., 1, 3:15, 5:30 and 7:45 p.m.
Ely Baseball History Display

Sunday July 12
Sir G's Midsummer Legion Classic
Games at 9 an 11:15 a.m., 1:30 and 3:45 p.m.
Ely Baseball History Display
Teacher Appreciation Day (?????)

Wednesday July 15
VFW - Ely vs. Deer RIver, 5 p.m.; Legion  - Ely vs. Deer River, 7:30 p.m.
Little League All Stars Night
$2 Burgers, $2 Root Beer Floats
Ely Baseball History Display

Friday July 17
Minnesota Power Night/Veterans Recognition
Legion vs. Virginia, 5 p.m.; Legion vs. Brookston, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota Power Scoreboard Dedication before 7:30 p.m. game
Veterans on field before 7:30 game

Saturday July 18
North Subdistrict VFW Playoffs
Games at 10 a.m.. 12:15, 2:30 and 4:45 p.m.
Legion Alumni Game - 7 p.m.
Josh Mathson Memorial Presentation

Sunday July 19
North Subdistrict VFW Playoffs
Games at 11 a.m.., 1;30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Post 248 winless down south

A long hitting slump for Ely's American Legion baseball team, particularly with runners in scoring position, continued Saturday at Jordan's Mini-Met.

Ely scored only two runs all day in 9-1 and 5-1 losses to Jordan and Kenyon, respectively, and finished the four game swing with four defeats, only six runs scored and a 3-for-30 weekend performance at the plate with runners in scoring position.

Both starting pitchers in Saturday's tilts left early because of injury, with Pat Huisman working just three frames in the loss to Jordan and freshman Gage Merhar leaving the game with Kenyon in the bottom of the second with a tight back.

Brody Skala had three hits for the day for Ely, while Tayler Banks was effective in relief against Kenyon, yielding five hits and no earned runs.

Ely (3-12) is back in action Tuesday night at Marble, against district rival Taconite.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Rough start to southern swing

Ely's American Legion baseball team is 0-for-2 thus far during its visit to the Twin Cities metro area.

Powerful Norwood-Young America ripped 15 hits Thursday night in a 15-1, five-inning rout over Post 248, while Ely stranded 11 runners and yielded five unearned runs in a 7-3 Friday loss to Minneapolis South.

Ely had numerous opportunities against Minneapolis South, in a contest held at Richfield.  Two runners were stranded in scoring position in the top of the first, while Minneapolis South countered with two-run rallies in both the bottom of the first and second, aided by three Ely errors.

That put Post 248 in catch-up mode and Ely never really recovered.

Trailing 7-2 in the sixth, Ely left the bases loaded and stranded its best chance to get back in the game when a Jeff Willis gapper was caught.

Gage Merhar picked up his third hit in the final frame and courtesy runner Preston Leustek scored on a wild pitch, but two more runners were left on base.

Losing pitcher Elliot Omerza gave up six hits, while Tayler Banks worked an inning of scoreless relief.

Ely managed just four hits against three Norwood pitchers, and the hosts put the game away by scoring eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Post 248 closes out its southern swing Saturday at Jordan's Mini-Met, with games against host Jordan (10 a.m.) and Kenyon (noon).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Huisman beats Deer River, ends long losing streak

Patrick Huisman helped put Ely's American Legion baseball team back in familiar territory Tuesday night.

The righthander dominated on the mound, finishing with a three-hitter and 11 strikeouts as Ely downed Deer River 6-2 and snapped a six-game losing skid, the program's longest since 1990.

Huisman, who struck out the side in both the first and second frames, lost his shutout bid in the sixth inning but by then Post 248 had a comfortable cushion.

Deer River fielding miscues led to an unearned run for Ely in the first and set the tone for the night, as the hosts committed seven errors.

Tayler Banks singled and scored on an error in the fourth, while a two-run fifth-inning rally included a double by Gage Merhar and a single by Elliot Omerza, with two errors in between.

Omerza finished with two hits and two runs batted in for the winners, and Merhar added two hits.

Huisman retired seven straight batters at one point and eight at another. He showed pinpoint control and did not walk a batter while improving to 3-1 for the summer.