Prep baseball: Negaunee beats Marquette in consolation game of Escanaba tournament

ESCANABA – The Escanaba Eskymos defended their home field in impressive fashion on Saturday afternoon, cruising past the Marquette Redmen and Gladstone Braves to capture the championship of the Escanaba Lions Club-Crawford Funeral Home Invitational.

Negaunee also picked up a win over Marquette in the event’s consolation game.

In Game 1, Gladstone beat the Miners, 4-2. That was followed by Escanaba blanking the Redmen, 16-0, in a game shortened to four innings due to the 10-run rule.

Marquette faced back-to-back games, taking on Negaunee in the consolation, where the Miners won, 14-4, invoking the mercy rule after six innings.

In the consolation, Negaunee’s Ryan Bischof was named Player of the Game after collecting three hits.

“It felt pretty good,” Bichof said.

“We were able to come back and get our first win of the season, and we looked pretty good.”

Marquette fell to 0-5.

“This is a lot of firsts for a lot of our players,” Redmen coach Todd Koski said. “We have one returning starter from last year, that’s it.

“We’re going to continue to improve and get better, and that’s all we can do is keep plugging away and getting tougher mentally.”

The all-Delta County championship featured Gladstone (8-3) on an eight-game winning streak, but Escanaba (5-2) carried the day with a 5-1 victory for the title.

The Eskymos scored first in the opening inning, then EHS’ Ben Kleiman made the play of the game in the top of the third, stretching out for an amazing diving catch that contributed to a 1-2-3 inning.

Nick Vandermissen, Sean Bissell and Tim Lueneburg each got hits in the bottom of the inning for two more runs and a 3-0 lead, then added doubles by Vandermissen and Brandon Punzel and Lueneburg in the fifth to make it 5-0.

Winning pitcher Devin Olsen earned the Most Valuable Pitcher award for getting the complete game in the championship.

Lueneburg won Most Valuable Hitter.