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Baseball: Agate season ends with losses to Esko, Aitkin

Two Harbors junior swings at a pitch during the Agates loss to Esko in the Section 7AA tournament. Keech was the only Agate player to put a ball in play over first four innings. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)1 / 2
Two Harbors freshman Nick Pearson make a pitch in the third inning during the Agates' 9-0 loss to Esko. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)2 / 2

Two Harbors season ended with losses to Esko and Aitkin in the Section 7AA tournament after a couple of surprising wins against Proctor and International Falls in the opening rounds.

Against Esko, the Agates managed only one hit in the 9-0 loss and Eskomo pitcher Brody Kaldahl carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out 11 of the first 12 batters he faced. Steven Keech was the only Two Harbors player to get a ball into the outfield over the first four innings of play.

Two Harbors suffered an even more serious setback in the third inning when first baseman Bret Olson and catcher Carson Wenger collided chasing a fly ball in foul territory. Wenger was able to continue playing, but Olson, also on of the Agates' top hitters, had to leave the game.

Cole Komarek recorded the only hit for Two Harbors and Keech allowed three runs and four hits over two innings in the loss.

In the second game of the day, Two Harbors still couldn't get its bats going against Aitkin in a 3-1 loss to the Gobblers.

Nick Pearson held Aitkin in check over the first four innings, but gave up a run in the fifth inning and two in the sixth in the loss. He struck out four and allow seven hits in the game.

Eric Carlson was 1-for-3 and had the only RBI for Two Harbors.

The Agates went just 5-10 in the regular season, but found some power in their lineup against Proctor and International Falls to make a surprising run in the section tournament.

While the Agates will lose some strong pitching and hitting in seniors David Anderson, Eric Carlson, Cody Brandt and Logan Loiselle, there is promise in the roster. Olson, Wenger and Keech all return in 2019 and younger players like Komarek, Nick Pearson and Brjen Jones gained valuable experience that will be an asset for an improved Two Harbors squad.

Section 7AA Tournament

Thursday, May 31

Esko 9, Two Harbors 0

At Minnesota Duluth. WP: Brody Kaldahl 5IP, 0H, 13K, BB. LP: Steven Keech 2IP, 3R, 4H, 2K, BB. E: Ryan Nelson 2x4, 2R, 2RBI; Riggs Olson 1x3, 2R, 2RBI. TH: Cole Komarek 1x3.

Aitkin 3, Two Harbors 1

At Minnesota Duluth. WP: Zak Peterson 5IP, 3H, 3K, 4BB. LP: Nick Pearson 6IP, 3R, 7H, 4K, 3BB. A: Kyle Cluff 3x3, R; Jake Kukowski 2x3, R. TH: Steven Keech 1x3, R; Eric Carlson 1x3, RBI.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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