ELY - The International Falls Post 66 legion baseball team went a combined 2-0 Saturday and Sunday to punch its ticket to the Substate tournament.
The No. 2 seeded Broncos competed against nine other teams in the District 8 Tournament, with the top three teams qualifying for the Substate Tournament.
07/20 vs. Nashwauk-Keewatin, W 11-0
After a first round bye, the Broncos were up against the No. 10 seeded Nashwauk-Keewatin Spartans.
Stat leaders were:
- Trimble Butler - 2 runs, 3 hits and 2 RBI
- Tucker Hell - 2 runs, 2 hits and 2 RBI
- Joe Glowack - 2 runs, 2 hits and 1 RBI
Winning pitcher was Blaine Humbert, who recorded eight strikeouts and allowed only four runs across all five innings of the ballgame.
The scoring started for the Broncos in the bottom of the first inning, when Joe Glowack stole home.
From there, the Broncos strung hits together to bring an additional three runners home to gain an early 4-0 lead.
This began a streak which saw the Broncos score in every inning of Saturday's game.
On the other side, the Bronco defense stifled the Spartan bats, making sure they could not get the hits needed to bring runners home.
The end of the ballgame came when the Broncos notched three runs in the bottom of the fourth to get an 11-0 lead. The team got the last three outs needed in the top of the fifth to end the game in five innings.
07/21 vs. Esko, W 4-3
In the second round, the Broncos faced off against the No. 6 seeded Esko Eskomos, a team the Broncos lost 7-3 to during the regular season.
Stat leaders were:
- Riley Larson - 1 run, 1 hit and 1 RBI
- Tucker Hell - 1 run, 1 hit and 1 RBI
- Joe Talmage - 1 run and 1 hit
- Blaine Humbert - 1 hit and 1 RBI
- Jett Tomczak - 1 run and 1 hit
The winning pitcher was Bryant Koenig, who allowed only two hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
The Eskomos got on the board first, netting two runs in the top of the first inning and gaining an additional run in the third to take a 3-0 lead.
However, the Broncos responded in the bottom of the third, starting when Jett Tomczak scored on a double, hit by Riley Larson.
Tucker Hell hit a fielder's choice towards the Eskomo shortstop, allowing Larson and Joe Talmage to touch home.
The Broncos took the lead when Blaine Humbert hit a line drive single into left field, bringing Hell home.
From there, it was the Bronco defense's job to hold onto their lead.
Despite the Eskomos getting a runner in scoring position twice over the next few innings, the Broncos held them off to get their second win, qualifying for the Substate Tournament.
Head coach Dieter Humbert: It was particularly gratifying to see our team's mettle and resilience. Bryant Koenig came in to a difficult situation and held the line with 4.2 scoreless innings. This enabled us to put together a four-run inning and capture the victory. We had eight hits on the day by eight different players which reveals our balance and teamwork. Our defense was solid with no errors and made some particularly outstanding plays.
The Substate Tournament begins Friday and runs until Sunday. The Broncos' seeding was not available at press time.