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Keweenaw 11s ushered out of state tourney

July 30, 2012
The Daily Mining Gazette

WEST BRANCH, Mich. - The Keweenaw Little League 10-11-year-old All-Star team traveled downstate after winning the District 11 tournament in Hancock July 8, but they were shut out in a pair of losses in the state tournament this weekend.

"Overall, it was a great experience," coach Mike Ojala said. "They got a chance to see where other teams are talent wise in the state, and it was a really, really well-run tournament."

Friday's scheduled opener was postponed due to rain, but Rockford beat KLL 6-0 Saturday with a combined no-hitter from three pitchers.

"The first two were pretty overpowering. They got us on our heels a little bit. We were facing 0-2 and 1-2 counts all day long," Ojala said.

eficit after four innings, but a bases-loaded bloop single led to a four-run fifth inning that put the game out of reach.

Brent Loukus, Brandon Antilla, Matt Ojala and Travis Ojala pitched well for Keweenaw, Ojala said, and the defense played well behind them, but they couldn't get anything going offensively.

Sunday's second game in pool play wasn't any better against a strong Dexter team with its ace on the hill, with KLL losing 11-0 and only managing one hit, by Antilla..

"That Dexter team was just outstanding, and we were totally overmatched," Ojala said.

Keweenaw shut them down in the first inning but surrendered a six-run second inning paced by a three-run home run. Two-run homers in both the third and fourth innings provided more than enough runs for Dexter.

"We could have competed better (against Rockford), but that Dexter team was pretty good. It was a pretty big step up for our guys," Ojala said.

The team traveled back Sunday after its game, wrapping up local Little League competition for the year.



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