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Thursday June 21, 2018
Eskymo Baseball Season Ends In Regional Semifinal

WEST BRANCH---A nightmare scenario played out for Escanaba High School Baseball Coach Kirk Schwalbach as his team took the field Saturday afternoon in the MHSAA Division Two regional semifinals in West Branch.

He knew that his underdog team, with six freshmen and sophomores amongst the ten starters, would have to bring their "A Game" against Remus Chippewa Hills.

Eskymo junior Nick Vandermissen won the team's batting title.
But what Schwalbach saw instead were walks, hit-batsmen, errors, and no clutch hits.

And as a result, his group of Eskymos was eliminated by the Warriors, 8-1, on a hot, sunny afternoon in Lower Michigan. Chippewa Hills beat West Branch, 4-1, for the regional title.

"It was all the things that we've talked about all year," Schwalbach said. "Giving them extra outs, timely hitting, struggling to get first-pitch strikes and getting ahead (in the count). We just had one of those games like we had during the year, and we can't have games like that when we play against good competition."

"We were as mentally into the game as we should have been," Eskymo senior Austin Young said. "There are no excuses for it. I don't know. It just wasn't our game, and that's how baseball is playedm I guess. Everyone's not always on the top of their game."

Schwalbach turned to sophomore Devin Olsen to pitch this important game. Olsen had been the team's most effective pitcher in the late part of the season, including a clutch performance on the mound in the district tournament last week in Sault Ste. Marie.

But on this day, Olsen simply didn't have his best stuff. In the first inning, he walked three batters and hit another. Olsen threw a wild pitch to allow one run to score, then gave up a sacrafice fly to Anthony Dague to make it a 2-0 Warriors lead.

Eskymo sophonore pitcher Devin Olsen struggled to throw strikes against Remus.

Olsen also had problems in the second inning as he walked one and hit another batter, but he got out of that jam.

Then, it looked like the Eskymos might take the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Bailey Lamb got a one-out single to right, then David Falish walked. With two out, Olsen's single brought in a run to make it a 2-1 game.

Cam Beversluis followed with an infield single to load the bases with two outs. But Young struck out swinging to end the Eskymo threat.

In the third inning, Olsen easily retired the first two men he faced, and he had two strikes on #6 hitter Justin Wermette.

But Wermette got a base hit, starting a string of five straight Chippewa Hills batters to reach base after getting two strikes on them. Olsen's day on the mound ended after 2 2/3 innings as he hit Devin Esch with a pitch.

Alex DeHaan came on to throw, but he walked Hayden Denslow and gave up a two-run single to #9 hitter Nick Halm, again, with two strikes. It was a 4-1 Remus lead.

The Warriors (33-6) put it away with back-to-back RBI doubles by Dague and Wermette in the fourth inning. Chippewa Hills stranded 14 batters, but it didn't matter. That's because Remus pitcher Jake Tarbell was in control in a complete-game effort.

David Falish comes up just short on a diving attempt in right field.

"I thought he had like six different pitches," Young said sarcastically after going 1-for-5 in his final Eskymo game. "He was good at his off-speeds and was working us well."

Escanaba finished with a 21-14 record, but the future is bright.

The Eskymos will miss seniors Young, DeHaan, and Ian DeMarse, but a lot of young guys got significant playing time this season against a toughed regular season and playoff schedule.

"A lot of people were surprised to see how young we were and how far we got," Schwalbach said. "We've got a lot of good kids coming back for next year. We're gonna take it a step further next year, and set our goals to make it to Central (Michigan University, for the quarterfinals)."

And for Young, the four-year Escanaba Eskymo baseball standout, who will play for the Northern Michigan University football team starting this fall?

"It was a really fun season," he said, as the team's bus returned to Escanaba at just after 11:00 Saturday night. "Our team really got together good. I had a great senior year."

Click the thumbnails in the "ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS" box to see more photos. Thanks to John Skufca and Sheila Olsen for their help!

Eskymo Bailey Lamb (34) is bored during warm-ups, as his teammates also get ready for the game against Remus Chippewa Hills. Thanks to John Skufca and Sheila Olsen for pictures!

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Choose team:
Date Time Opponent Score Record
5:30 PM
Marquette Redmen
12 - 2 (W)
5:00 PM
at Norway Knights
13 - 0 (W)
4:00 PM
Rudyard Bulldogs
9 - 0 (W)
6:30 PM
Rudyard Bulldogs
9 - 4 (W)
12:30 PM
Shawano Hawks
1 - 7 (L)
3:00 PM
Shawano Hawks
0 - 1 (L)
5:30 PM
Norway Knights
17 - 0 (W)
6:00 PM
Kingsford Legion Blues
14 - 7 (W)
1:00 PM
at Appleton North Lightning
3 - 7 (L)
3:30 PM
at Appleton North Lightning
1 - 12 (L)
6:00 PM
Stephenson Eagles
14 - 4 (W)
5:00 PM
Negaunee Miners
6 - 5 (W)
12:00 PM
at Saginaw Heritage Hawks
7 - 3 (W)
2:30 PM
at Mt. Pleasant Oilers
2 - 5 (L)
6:00 PM
at Stephenson Eagles
12 - 2 (W)
5:30 PM
at DePere Redbirds
5 - 6 (L)
12:30 PM
Negaunee Miners
3 - 2 (W)
5:00 PM
Marquette Redmen
7 - 1 (W)
7:30 PM
at Gladstone Indians
4 - 5 (L)
5:30 PM
at Marquette Redmen
14 - 3 (W)
12:00 PM
Sault Ste. Marie Blue Devils
11 - 3 (W)
2:20 PM
Sault Ste. Marie Blue Devils
10 - 0 (W)
5:00 PM
at Marinette Marines
3 - 13 (L)
6:00 PM
at Kingsford Legion Blues
7 - 8 (L)
7:00 PM
Alpena Wildcats
8 - 2 (W)
12:30 PM
Petoskey Northmen
2 - 4 (L)
5:00 PM
Negaunee Miners
6 - 3 (W)
5:00 PM
at Negaunee Miners
15 - 8 (W)
10:00 AM
at Shepherd
5 - 6 (L)
12:00 PM
at Alpena Wildcats
9 - 0 (W)
2:30 PM
at Sault Ste. Marie Blue Devils
5 - 6 (L)
6:00 PM
Gladstone Indians
3 - 4 (L)
2:30 PM
at Cheboygan Chiefs
9 - 7 (W)
6:00 PM
at Petoskey Northmen
9 - 2 (W)
12:30 PM
at Remus Chippewa Hills
1 - 8 (L)

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Thursday August 2, 2012
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Thursday July 26, 2012
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Tuesday July 24, 2012
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Monday July 23, 2012
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Saturday July 7, 2012
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Saturday June 30, 2012
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Friday June 29, 2012
Lamb Shuts Down Marquette As Cubs Post 3-0 Win
Wednesday June 27, 2012
Escanaba Junior Cubs Sweep Twinbill In Daggett
Monday June 25, 2012
Mistake-Prone Cubs Lose Twice; Out of Tourney
Saturday June 23, 2012
Esky Cubs Blank Soo Canada For Tournament Split
Friday June 22, 2012
Escanaba Cubs Rally For Wild Win In Marquette
Tuesday June 19, 2012
Escanaba Eskymos Celebrate Successful Season
Tuesday June 19, 2012
Escanaba Junior Cubs Get Fathers Day DH Sweep
Sunday June 17, 2012
Escanaba Cubs Open Season With Five In Green Bay
Sunday June 17, 2012
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Sunday June 17, 2012
Eskymo Baseball Prepares For Regional Challenge
Friday June 8, 2012
District Champs! Eskymos Finally Put It Together
Monday June 4, 2012
Eskymo District Playoff Games Rained Out In Soo
Saturday June 2, 2012
Weyers Complete Game Leads Tribe Past Eskymos
Thursday May 31, 2012
Eskymos Drop Two Of Three In Sault Ste. Marie
Sunday May 27, 2012
Eskymos Top Miners Under Gale Force Winds, 15-8
Thursday May 24, 2012
Eskymos Rally To Salvage Third Place In Tourney
Saturday May 19, 2012
Falish, Skufca Lead Eskymos To Victory
Friday May 18, 2012
Errors Costly Again As Eskymos Blow Late Lead
Thursday May 17, 2012
Mercy Killing: Eskymos Finish Zero-For-Wisconsin
Tuesday May 15, 2012
Eskymos Sweep Mistake-Prone Sault Blue Devils
Saturday May 12, 2012
Eskymos Overcome Mistakes; Win In Marquette
Thursday May 10, 2012
Indians Hang On To Beat Eskymos In Rivalry Battle
Wednesday May 9, 2012
DeHaan, Kleiman Lead Eskymos To Tourney Sweep
Sunday May 6, 2012
Eskymos Start Fast But Fall Again In Wisconsin 6-5
Friday May 4, 2012
Olsen Leads Eskymos To 12-2 Win At Stephenson
Wednesday May 2, 2012
Eskymos Beat Saginaw; Nearly Topple Mt. Pleasant
Sunday April 29, 2012
Eskymo Baseball Prepares For Saginaw Showcase
Friday April 27, 2012
Eskymos Rally For Walk-Off Win Over Negaunee
Thursday April 26, 2012
Eskymos Top Stephenson In Sloppy Baseball Match
Tuesday April 24, 2012
Eskymos Struck By Lightning Twice In Appleton
Saturday April 21, 2012
Eskymos Rally To Beat Kingsford In Cold Rain
Friday April 20, 2012
Eskymos Shivver, Roll Past Norway Again, 17-0
Tuesday April 17, 2012
Eskymos Suffer Power Outage In Loss To Shawano
Saturday April 14, 2012
Delta County Boy Scouts Help Eskymos With Flag
Saturday April 14, 2012
Eskymos Sweep Rudyard To Start Big Homestand
Friday April 13, 2012
Escanaba Eskymos Rip Norway To Go To 2-0
Wednesday April 11, 2012
Eskymos Open Season With Win Over Marquette
Tuesday April 10, 2012
Young Eskymos Ready For 2012 Baseball Season
Sunday April 8, 2012
Schwalbach Hired As New Eskymo Baseball Coach
Saturday March 17, 2012
Eskymo Baseball, Softball Teams Start Practice
Friday March 16, 2012