HANCOCK - A second championship game is necessary after The Goal Post (Team 7) gave McGann's/Northern Auto its first defeat of the season in the Copper Country men's slowpitch league tournament final, 33-31.
The Goal Post stamped its authority on the game early, scoring four times in the first inning and six in the second for a 10-0 lead after two. The lead grew to 24-10 after five innings, but the regular season champions charged back into it, batting around in the sixth and seventh.
Entering the ninth inning down four, McGann's/Northern Auto scored two runs in short order and advanced the tying run to second base with one out, but two batters who were the potential winning run were stymied at the plate. Third baseman Bruce Tebelman speared a screaming drive to preserve the victory.
The Goal Post players Nelson Wienke, left, and Paul?Kuoppala congratulate third baseman Bruce Tebelman after he caught a line drive for the last out of the championship game of the Copper Country men’s slowpitch league tournament?Wednesday at Hancock Driving Park. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
It was the second consecutive inning to end on a great defensive play, as Jacob Clark made a leaping backhanded catch in deep right to retire McGann's/Northern Auto in the eighth.
Taylor Ziolkowski and Paul Kuoppala both homered twice for the winners.
The teams will face off one last time next week at a time still to be officially finalized.