ESCANABA - Despite a 2-0 loss to DePere (10-1) on Sunday, where his team recorded just three hits, Escanaba Cubs head coach Tom Ohman was all smiles after the game.
Despite the loss, Escanaba finished the Gregg Johnson Memorial American Legion Tournament with a winning record, going 2-1 on the weekend, after they defeated Manitowoc 6-0, and Plover 6-2, on Saturday.
"We're very happy as a team," Ohman said. "We came together as a team very well this weekend. We played well, we played good defense, we executed the squeeze, and we bunted the ball well. Everything looks positive; we just have to keep working."
Bryce Deroiun | Daily Press
Escanaba’s Devin Olsen runs to first after dropping down a bunt in the third inning, while DePere catcher Bennet Berg fields the ball. Olsen’s bunt allowed Hunter LaMarch to move to second, but the Cubs were unable to bring LaMarch home, Sunday at Al Ness Field during the American?Legion Gregg Johnson Memorial Tournament.
Offensively, not much was working for the Cubs against DePere. The varying styles of DePere's Alex Jorgenson and Ross Kulick, stymied the Escanaba bats, and did not allow the Cubs to consistently make solid contact.
"They're a pretty good combination, because Alex is a right-hander who throws pretty hard and has some good off-speed stuff, and then you mix in Ross, who is a left-handed submarine pitcher and he doesn't blow it by people, but he keeps the ball down," DePere head coach Kevin Norman said. "It's a pretty good combination between the two."
Jorgenson surrendered two hits, and no walks, while striking out three batters, across four innings of work. Kulick came in for relief in the fifth inning, and allowed just one hit and one walk.
"When they came in with the submariner (Kulic), we haven't seen anything like that, so that was brand new for us," Ohman said. "I didn't think we did too bad. We hit the ball, but we didn't really hit anything hard.
"We just didn't score any runs. They threw some good pitchers at us, we just couldn't find a break. Other than that, I'm pleased with how we played. 2-0 against a very good team. I'll take that loss any day."
The Cubs (2-3) had their best chance to score in the third inning. Hunter LaMarch opened the inning with a single. Afterwards, Devin Olsen bunted LaMarch over to second. David Falish grounded-out, allowing LaMarch to end up on third with two outs, but the Cubs weren't able to bring LaMarch home.
Right after defeating Soo Canada 20-0, DePere had to be more creative when it came to scoring against the Escanaba defense.
DePere scored on a bloop single in the first inning, and then on a sacrifice fly from Emmett Kulic, that scored Bennet Berg from third, in the third inning.
"We could see Escanaba was a good team, so we knew we had to manufacture stuff," Norman said. "With runners on first and second, we had to get a bunt down and move the runners and get a sac fly.
"It was nice to see us come back against a team that had a good pitcher on the mound and played good defense behind him where we had to scratch and claw to get a couple of runs, and we were able to do it. And then thankfully, we had good pitching and defense on our side, that held up our end."
The win gave DePere a 4-0 record on the weekend.
Andrew Sedlar was saddled with the loss, but the 19-year old pitcher looked like he regained his old form after a rough outing last weekend. Sedlar pitched all seven innings and allowed just two runs on six hits, one walk, while striking out five.
"It was good because he's one of our 19-year olds and we threw him last week against Green Bay Southwest. He walked a lot of people in that game, so I was a little bit concerned if he was going to be able to get it back," Ohman said. "But now after today, he's back to where he was last year. We need him in our three or four spot in the rotation. It's just good to have him back."