Esko vs. Duluth Marshall

6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 18

The last time these teams met, it was a nail-biter.

The game featured two of the state's best players and two squads clashing to keep their postseason hopes alive. 

The stage was set for an epic conclusion in the Class 2A, Section 7 semifinal showdown. 

Esko's Tyler Peterson, with a season batting average of .645, stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh with his team trailing 2-1. He was facing Ben Pedersen, who struck out 86 batters in 70 innings and posted a 1.50 ERA during his sophomore season for Duluth Marshall.

Pedersen got Peterson to ground out, sealing a victory for the Hilltoppers, who later claimed fourth place at the state tournament.

After an offseason in which both committed to play college ball, Peterson (Minnesota-Duluth) and Pedersen (Missouri) are ready for a rematch in the same place they met last time, the NBC Spartan Sports Complex.

Esko has yet to play this season, but Duluth Marshall (1-0) began its campaign with a 21-1 romping of Aitkin last Wednesday. Derrick Winn and Brett Benson pitched, combining for 11 strikeouts and yielding just two hits in the victory.