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Flames rally back to beat Cubs in U19 baseball tourney, 8-7

ESCANABA — The Copper Country Flames overcame a big inning by the Escanaba Cubs and rallied to an 8-7 win Sunday in the final round of Upper Peninsula Kickoff Under-19 baseball tournament.

The Cubs (2-1), taking advantage of four walks in the third, scored six times for a 7-3 lead.

Also in the third, Riley Lamb drove in a run with a single to leftfield and scored on a wild pitch. Trent Lawson added an RBI on a sacrifice fly to left and Brett Schlenvogt added an RBI single to left.

Copper Country answered with three runs in its half of the third by cashing in on three walks and two hit batsmen.

The Flames then tied the contest on Levi Frahm’s single to right and secured their first victory this season on Reid Heathman’s single to left in the seventh.

“We’re very young, but we’re starting to come around,” said Flames’ manager Rob Oldt. “From what I heard, Escanaba is a good hitting team. This is a good win for us. The team was ready to break through. This was probably our best overall game so far.”

Esky’s Nick Kolich opened the scoring on an error in the opening frame.

Frahm tied the score on a passed ball in the second. Jonah Horning, grandson of former Packers’ great Paul Horning, gave the Flames a 2-1 lead on an infield single and Noah Bach’s single to right-center gave them a two-run cushion.

Copper Country (1-4) finished with four hits off a trio of Esky pitchers. Esky collected eight hits, including four in the third inning, off three hurlers.

Kolich, Schlenvogt and Hunter Lancour finished with two hits each for the Cubs, who committed the game’s lone error.

“It’s tough to lose a game this way,” said Esky manager Jon Bintner. “Our bats just went silent after the third inning. I thought maybe their first pitcher was going to beat us because our hitters were having a tough time. This wasn’t our best game by any means, but we have to tip our hat off to them. They got the hits they needed. We’re still learning situations of the game, although we should be a pretty competitive team this year. Our outfield has been pretty good so far. We should be pretty solid at every position.”

Adam Willette, who pitched the last inning, took the loss and Eli Oldt became the winning pitcher.

“It looks like everybody has some pitching,” said manager Oldt. “Most of the teams appear to be pretty even. It should be a fun and interesting year.”

The Flames host Negaunee Friday.

Esky’s Grant LaMarche worked the first three frames before Riley Lamb relieved in the fourth.

“Riley did a great job in relief,” said Bintner. “He kept them at bay for the most part and Hunter did a good job throwing in the first game (in an 11-1 victory over Negaunee).

“I think the layover between games kills you because you do too much sitting around,” Bintner said. “Fortunately for us, we played a quick first game.”

Lancour struck out nine, walked two, hit two batters and scattered five hits against Negaunee.

Lamb collected three hits and Lawson added two. John Laurin had a pair for the Diamonds.

Negaunee committed four errors and Esky, which hosts Bark River (2-4) Friday, had none.

Copper Country hosts Negaunee on Friday.

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