MENOMINEE - The Hancock Post 186 American Legion baseball team stumbled at both hurdles Saturday en route to elimination from the U.P. Zone Five tournament.
Gladstone brushed Hancock away 10-0 for the first spot in the championship game?- Hancock managed only three hits against Indians starter Hunter Garling.
Hancock got in trouble early, allowing five runs in the top of the first inning and two more in the second.
In the elimination bracket final, Escanaba won three games in a day to get out of the loser's bracket and into the states. The Cubs completed a suspended game with Marquette, winning 7-5, then beat defending state champ Kingsford 4-1.
In game three, against Hancock, Escanaba seized the early advantage again, plating three runs in the first. Hancock drew four walks in the bottom of the inning to get back within 3-2, but Escanaba grabbed an unearned run in the fourth and one more in the sixth for a 5-2 final.
Sunday's all-Delta County final was rather anti-climactic, with Gladstone leading the depleted Cubs 15-0 in the second inning when a downpour hit Menominee. Officials awarded Gladstone the title by being the last remaining unbeaten team.
Gladstone and Hancock will meet again in the state tournament at Adrian Thursday at 1:30. Three of the six teams in the field are from the U.P.