BASEBALL: Spartans make things easy for Cloquet
An opportunistic Cloquet Lumberjack baseball team defeated the Superior High School Spartans 4-2 Thursday afternoon at Morrie Arnovich Field. The Lumberjacks managed just three hits in the Lake Superior Conference contest, but thanks to three hit...
An opportunistic Cloquet Lumberjack baseball team defeated the Superior High School Spartans 4-2 Thursday afternoon at Morrie Arnovich Field.
The Lumberjacks managed just three hits in the Lake Superior Conference contest, but thanks to three hit batters and a handful of Spartan errors, Cloquet was able to win the game and improve to 4-1 on the season.
"Cloquet deserved to win, they outplayed us," SHS coach Don Dembroski said. "There were plays we should have made that we didn't, but they hit better than us and their pitcher got better as the game went on. We just got outplayed today and that's the way it goes sometimes."
Cloquet scored all the runs it needed in the first inning as a walk, hit batter, sacrifice fly, two straight errors and a RBI single by Thomas Rogers helped give the 'Jacks a quick 3-0 lead.
Superior got one run back in the bottom of the second as Zach Sitek reached on an error, moved up on Dan Manion's sacrifice bunt and scored on Chris Blake's single to right field.
Cloquet took a 4-1 lead in the fourth as Matt Ellison reached on an error, moved up on a sac bunt and eventually scored on Reid Ellingson's successful squeeze play.
Superior made it 4-2 in its half of the fourth on Blake's second RBI single of the game.
Sitek suffered the loss for the Spartans, allowing just three hits with five strikeouts and one walk. He also hit three batters and the defense behind him committed five errors.
"Zach pitched well enough for us to win," Dembroski said. "But we only scored two runs and you're not going to win a lot of games when you only score two runs. You're asking a lot of from your defense and your pitching."
Brian Anderson was the complete-game winner for Cloquet, allowing five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. His defense helped him out by turning a 4-6-3 double play in the fifth inning, the teams first of the season, and catcher Austin Hatch threw out two Spartans attempting to steal.
"We truly believe we need throw strikes and play defense to win games," Cloquet coach Steve Jezierski said. "We have a philosophy that it's not the team that scores the most, it's the team that gives away the least. And I thought we did that pretty well today -- we didn't give away any runs."
Three of Anderson's strike outs came in the seventh as he struck out the side in order.
"Brian threw a heck of a game for us," Jezierski said. "I'm really proud of him, he really battled. The Spartans had some base runners and there were a few situations where he really dug down and found something extra."
Beside's Blake's pair of RBI singles, Superior got a double from Craig Torgerson and singles from Brady Arneson and Sitek.
Josh Pritchett doubled and Hatch and Thomas Rogers singled for Cloquet, which plays Duluth East today.
"We've beat three teams so far this year, but this is a win our kids should be proud of because we beat a very good Spartan team," Jezierski said. "I've always had respect for Superior, going back to Ron Orlandi and Steve Olson."
The Spartans host Menomonie at 1 p.m. Saturday and Duluth Denfeld at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
SPARTAN SPIN: Jezierski, who is the TV voice of Minnesota Duluth Bulldog hockey, is in his first season as head coach at Cloquet. He was an assistant coach at Cloquet for 13 seasons before being the head coach at Albrook for seven years. ... Superior back-up catcher Brandan Vaughan also threw out two Lumberjacks attempting to steal second. ... The Spartan JV defeated Cloquet's JV 10-8. Dan Tracy picked up the win for the Spartans allowing four earned runs and striking out four in six innings. Mike Higgins pitched the final frame for the Spartans. The Spartans had 11 hits, with Tracy and Neil Baltes collecting two apiece. Kellen McCoshen added a triple for the Spartans, who now have a 4-2 record.