Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ely reaches district finals

One win off the field and another on has put Ely's American Legion baseball team in the district finals for a seventh straight season.

After a forfeit victory over Chisholm, Ely outlasted host Deer River 9-6 in the wind and cold Saturday afternoon to advance into the Eighth District Division II title tilt.

Ely, which meets Taconite Sunday in a rematch of the 2012 final, scored three times with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to break a six-all deadlock with Deer River.

Pat Huisman's single to left plated Nick Mathews with the go-ahead run, and Louie Gerzin and Greg Helget followed with singles to add valuable insurance.

Gerzin pitched a scoreless seventh to get the save for Riley Bernsdorf, who scattered nine hits en route to his fourth win of the summer.

Ely (24-10) finally prevailed in a back-and-forth contest with a young Deer River team that upset Post 248 on Friday.

After spotting Deer River a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, Ely stormed back with four runs in the bottom of the frame and Nick Mathews added a run-scoring hit in the second to make it 5-3.

Deer River would rally to tie the game at both 5-5 and 6-6 before the decisive sixth inning.

Ely was also aided by stellar defense, with Trevor Bernsdorf's diving stab in the sixth erasing what would have been a run-scoring hit off the bat of Deer River's Jack Carter.

Post 248 finished with 13 hits, with Fisher, Cody Bialik, Gerzin, Riley Bernsdorf and Mathews finishing with two apiece. Huisman and Riley Bernsdorf both had two runs batted in.

To start off the day, Ely was awarded with a forfeit win over Chisholm, which was unable to field a team for Saturday's opening game.  Taconite reached the finals with a 9-2 win over Deer River.

Ely needs a win in Sunday's first game to force a decisive second contest for the championship. Taconite needs only one win to claim its first district title.

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