HANCOCK - The Keweenaw Little League's 10-11-year-old All-Star team booked a ticket downstate Sunday, sweeping a best-of-three series from rivals Portage Lake for the District 11 championship.
Keweenaw rolled to a 14-0 victory in the opener Saturday at Hancock Driving Park before winning a much tighter contest 6-4 Sunday.
In Sunday's contest, Brandon Anttila pitched Keweenaw to the victory with a complete-game five-hitter. He struck out two and allowed no walks, the second straight clean outing for his team.
Keweenaw’s Brandon Anttila slides to catch a pop-up during Sunday’s District 11 10-11-year-old division tournament game against Portage Lake at Hancock. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
The eventual winners put four runs on the board in the third to take control of the game after Dmitri Kochan doubled and scored on an RBI groundout to give Portage Lake a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning.
Keweenaw tacked on two more in the fourth after Matt Ojala doubled in a run, stole third and scored when the throw got away.
Portage Lake rallied, scoring three times in the fifth, but Anttila settled down to get out of the inning, then retired the side in order in the sixth.
On Saturday, Keweenaw opened with a three-run first and a seven-run second. Brent Loukus worked 3 2/3 innings for the win on just 34 pitches. Ojala, Loukus and Davin Lehto all scored three times.
Keweenaw advances to the state tournament to begin July 26 in downstate West Branch.
Keweenaw 5, Marquette 4
L'ANSE - Keweenaw was down to its last at-bat in the District 11 Minor (age 9-10) tournament Sunday, but came through with three runs in the top of the sixth to survive an elimination game with Marquette.
Taylor Gardner doubled to the right-field gap to drive in the tying runs, then came around on Brevin Antilla's hit.
He also earned the win on the mound, allowing two runs on two hits in three innings of relief. He struck out two.
Scott Loukus got the save with a scoreless sixth.
Keweenaw will meet Ishpeming today (6:30 p.m.) in another elimination game after Ishpeming edged hosts Baraga County in a 21-20 slugfest.
Portage Lake 12, Ishpeming 4
L'ANSE - Portage Lake sent Ishpeming into the elimination bracket
Saturday in the completion of a game carried over from Friday.
PL made the most of a short day at the office Friday, scoring eight times in three at-bats before play was stopped (the tournament was delayed by rain earlier in the day).
P.J. Donnelly drove in Davin Hill with an RBI groundout, while Ashton Janke came around on a wild pitch.
Ishpeming responded with three in the bottom of the first, but PL took the lead back for good without the benefit of a hit thanks to four walks and an error.
Portage Lake got singles from Colton Salani, Petr Anderson, Eli Larson and Hill to help hang three more runs on the board to make it 8-4 when the teams went home.
PL added two runs apiece in the last two innings Saturday to lock down the win.
Donnelly allowed two earned runs on five hits with a strikeout and two walks Friday night before Davin Hill finished off the game with four hitless innings assisted by solid defense.
Hill, Salani and Larson each posted two-hit games.
Portage Lake will face Negaunee today at 4:30 for the first spot in the championship game.