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Thursday January 28, 2021
Escanaba 12-Under Bears Finish Second In Tourney

BLACK CREEK, Wis.---The Escanaba Bears Under-12 baseball team cruised through its tournament play in Black Creek, Wis., on Saturday, but fell in the championship game to DePere, Wis., 3-0.

The Bears wrapped up their summer with a 14-2 record, and finished this tournament with a perfect pool play record and a semifinal win, before the championship game loss.

Escanaba won the first meeting with DePere, 5-0, but the DePere bats woke up as they worked through pool play, then beat Ashwaubenon, Wis., 9-5, in the semifinals.

Escanaba beat Seymour in the semifinals, 11-1, as Taylor Asgaard smoked a long bomb to the 252-foot left field fence that skipped under the fence for a two-run ground rule double.

Lennox Peacock, Graham Johnson, and Owen LaBonte were among the others with RBI hits.

Nolan Bink and Ashton Rymkos each pitched two innings for the win. They were helped along by great defense, even on Seymour's only run when the home team got a base hit, but the second runner was thrown out at the plate when Peacock's throw from center field was cut by Bink at short, who threw to catcher Graham Johnson for the out at the dish.

After the Bears mercied the host team, and they watched DePere outlast Ashwabenon, the two teams met for the championship under bright, sunny skies. But as the game started 45 minutes late, at 8:30 ET/7:30 CT, the final few innings were played under the lights.

The first inning was the difference as DePere scored all three of the game's runs before the Bears even came to the plate. Escanaba made two errors in the inning which brought in two of the runs, Cayden Baumgart's RBI single brought in the other. 

Baumgart played less than 24 hours after taking a line drive to the face off the bat of Escanaba's Johnson in the Bears' pool play win.

Baumgart sufferd chipped teeth and some facial abrasions, but escaped serious injury, and played with a large scarf on his face.

The first inning runs would be the only ones against a trio of Bears pitchers. Tournament rules only allowed a pitcher to throw a maximum of two innings per game.

Bink threw the first two and took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned). Lennox Peacock threw the next two, and after hitting a batter and giving up a single to Colton Setzer, he struck out all six batters he faced. Rymkos finished the final two innings, allowing three walks but nothing else.

The Bears offense went silent against DePere's three pitchers. They had plenty of chances, though, but couldn't cash in on any of the six walks they received. In the first inning, Escanaba got two walks and a Bink base hit, but Grayson Davis grounded out with the bases loaded.

In the second inning, Asgaard smoked a one-out double, and went to third on a wild pitch. Seconds later, though, he was picked off of third base. In the fourth inning, the Bears had back-to-back walks with one out, but Keagan Braun grounded out and Asgaard grounded out.

Peacock walked and stole second in the fifth inning, but Rymkos grounded out. And in the final inning, Bink beat out an infield hit, but on the play, was sent to second when the throw went to the fenceline and he was thrown out at second base.

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