Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Gustafson pitches Ely past Taconite

Some timely hitting and a stellar pitching performance by senior Will Gustafson helped Ely's American Legion baseball team pick up a key district win.

Gustafson tossed a three-hitter and didn't allow an earned run, and Cole Kellogg's run-scoring double in the bottom of the sixth provided key insurance in a 3-2 Little League Night victory over Taconite at Veterans Memorial Field.

Before a crowd that included all four of Ely's Little League teams, Post 248 completed a regular season sweep over the defending district champions - with Gustafson keeping the visitors at bay.

The crafty righthander blanked Taconite through four frames and gave up an unearned run in the fifth that tied the game.

Ely grabbed the edge right back in the home half of the fifth, with Jeff Willis lacing a leadoff double and scoring on Elliot Omerza's fielders choice.

Kellogg knocked in Spencer Gaulke in the sixth to make it 3-1, but Ely had to survive some anxious moments in the seventh. Pat Shea's two-out pop-up was dropped, allowing Joe LaDoux to score from second and giving Taconite new life.

But Gustafson got losing pitcher John LaBine to fly out to end the rally and give Post 248 its third straight win and sixth victory in seven outings.

Omerza knocked in two runs for the winners, and Willis went two-for-four at the plate.

After off days Wednesday and Thursday, Ely returns to action Friday at 8 p.m. when it meets Pine City in the opening round of the 10-team Sir G's Midsummer Classic.

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