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American Legion baseball: Grand Rapids outlasts Duluth Lakeview

The Wolfpack will play Hibbing at 2 p.m. Friday in Duluth and the Tropics will face West Duluth at 5 p.m.

American Legion Baseball
Grand Rapids' Dominic Broberg makes a pitch during the Wolfpack's 2-1 win over Duluth Lakeview in the American Legion Sub-State 10 tournament Thursday, July 21, 2022, at Ordean Stadium in Duluth.
Jamey Malcomb / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — Grand Rapids pitcher Dominic Broberg kept Duluth Lakeview pitchers off balance throughout the game in a 2-1 win for the Wolfpack in the American Legion Sub-State 10 tournament Thursday at Ordean Stadium.

Broberg allowed six hits and struck out five batters, but no Tropics played advanced past first base until the top of the seventh inning and even then it took a Grand Rapids throwing error on a force out at second base Lakeview to get a runner in scoring position.

American Legion Baseball
Grand Rapids' Andy Linder makes contact during a 2-1 win over Duluth Lakeview Thursday, July 21, 2022, at Ordean Stadium.
Jamey Malcom / Duluth News Tribune

“We’ve pitched and played defense all year and Dom was dominant again again today,” Wolfpack coach Bill Kinnunen said. “He hit spots, changed speeds and kept them off-balance all day and he threw strikes — that’s the big thing. For the most part we played defense behind him until the last inning when the pressure was on.”

Lakeview’s Ethan Cole allowed just three hits and struck out four, but the Wolfpack were able to take advantage of the baserunners they had.

News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year Ben Keske led off the game with a single and scored on a hard-hit double by Andy Linder two batters later.

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The senior took up powerlifting in the offseason in the hopes of getting stronger and faster, eventually finishing 14th in his weight class at a national competition in March.

Kyler Miller scored from second in the bottom of the fifth when teammate Nolan Svatos was caught in a rundown trying to steal second base.

Dylan Manchester scored in the top of the seventh, but the Tropics couldn’t plate another run to extend the game.

American Legion Baseball
Duluth Lakeview's Dylan Manchester hits the ball during the Tropics' 2-1 loss to Grand Rapids Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Ordean Stadium in Duluth.
Jamey Malcom / Duluth News Tribune

“This summer, we’ve done a really good job of coming out with some pretty high and positive energy,” Lakeview coach Steve Plesha said. “Today it was tense and negative. This is a team that feeds of of the good energy that we need and I thought today it just wasn’t what we needed to win this game. You definitely have to credit Broberg, who did a really good job keeping out guys off-balance.”

With the win, Grand Rapids clinches a spot in the sub-state championship game Saturday, but the Wolfpack will play Hibbing at 2 p.m. Friday in Duluth. If the Wolfpack beats Hibbing, whoever they play in the championship game Saturday will need two wins to advance to the state tournament.

Lakeview will play West Duluth at 5 p.m. Friday at Ordean Stadium. The Tropics beat the Cubs 11-2 in the first game of the tournament Wednesday.

West Duluth eliminates Hermantown

American Legion Baseball
West Duluth's Ethen Carlson pitches during the Cubs' 9-3 win to eliminate Hermantown Thursday, July 21, 2022, at Ordean Stadium in Duluth.
Jamey Malcom / Duluth News Tribune

West Duluth’s Nolan Harju had four RBIs and Earl Hendrickson had three to lead the Cubs to a 9-3 win over Hermantown to set up a rematch with Lakeview Friday.

West Duluth took a 2-1 lead into the fifth inning and picked up three runs in the top of the fifth and three more in the top of the seventh to secure the win.

The Cubs’ Ethen Carlson allowed five hits and struck out five in the win.

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Wylee Arro had a hit and two RBIs to lead the Hawks in the loss.

More from Jamey Malcomb
The former Spartans star recently started as an assistant for the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks, a team he spent three seasons with as a player.

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Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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