Negaunee tumbles into loser’s bracket

MARQUETTE – Negaunee could muster little offense against a pair of Portage Lake pitchers and fell into the loser’s bracket of the Little League Minors All-Star district tournament on Wednesday afternoon.

The Houghton- and Hancock-based team recorded a four-inning 13-0 victory to remain undefeated in this double-elimination tourney and earn a berth in the championship round that begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Negaunee plays at 5:30 p.m. today against Calumet-based Keweenaw, which pulled out a 9-8 victory over Portage Lake 2 on Wednesday. PL2 was eliminated.

Today’s winner plays Portage Lake and will need wins Friday and at noon Saturday to win the district championship.

PL 13, Negaunee 0

The only Marquette County team left in the Minors tourney managed just one hit, a single by first baseman-pitcher Michael Dellangelo, off PL pitchers Mason Mikesch and Davin Hill.

Mikesch, who also went 2 for 4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored, started and went three innings, allowing the single but no walks while striking out two. Hill went the final inning and didn’t give up a hit or walk and fanned one.

PL jumped out to a 9-0 after two innings. Negaunee starting hurler Jayden Grobar went one innings and allowed nine runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out one. Alex Munson followed with 1 1/3 innings, allowing one run on no hits and no walks while striking out three. Joe Mallett followed with 2/3 of an inning and Dellangelo went one inning, striking out two.

PL’s Eli Larson was 2 of 3 with three runs scored, while teammate Tanner Larson had a double, RBI and run scored. Hill had a hit and three runs scored and stolen base, while Chad Nordstrom was 1 of 2 with 2 RBIs, a run and stolen base.

Keweenaw 9, PL2 8

Catcher-shortstop Dean Loukus’ third double of the game with none out in the bottom of the sixth inning broke an 8-8 tie and kept Keweenaw alive in the tournament.

He was also the only player from either team with multiple hits, going 3 for 4 as he knocked in five runs, scored twice and stole a base.

Loukus also made a winner of relief pitcher Joel LePage, who went the final 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two. Starter Caleb Klein went 1 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on one hit and six walks.

PL2 scored five times in the top of the second to take a 5-3 lead, but Keweenaw answered with five of its own in the bottom of the inning. PL2 garnered two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth while keeping Keweenaw from scoring further until Loukus’ heroics that ended the game.

The winners’ William Lyons had a double and Brevin Antilla and Ashton Antilla singles as all three knocked in a run. Brevin Antilla also scored twice.

PL2’s Brady Schmierer doubled and scored a run as teammates Tom Lassila and Nick Horning each had one RBI.

Horning started for PL2, going 2 2/3 innings and allowing eight runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out five. Quinn Donnelly was tagged with the loss, going the final inning and allowing a run on two hits.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee.