Setting the stage
MARQUETTE – The Portage Lake Little League team was on the verge of elimination and now it is on the verge of a district title as it took down Ishpeming 14-10 Thursday in a rematch of PL’s 11-10 extra inning loss on Tuesday. Portage’s victory means that it will face Ishpeming one more time at 6 p.m. today in the District 11 Minor Division championship game.
“We got it done,” Portage head coach Wes Frahm said. “It was a good team victory today. I thought Levi (Frahm) came in and pitched a good first four innings for us, and the bats came through for us. We’ve scored 10 or more runs in every game in this tournament. We just did our thing on offense and the pitching was there as well.”
Portage got off to a great start scoring three runs in the first inning and they added three more in the second thanks to a two-run single by Bryce Pugh and a bases loaded walk. PL led 6-1 after the first two frames.
In the third, Portage broke the game open with a five-run surge and took an 11-1 advantage. Levi Frahm hit a two-run single and Pugh hit a RBI single during the frame.
Ishpeming got one run back in its half of the third on a sacrifice fly by Hayden Hares and another run in the fourth on a fielder’s choice by Ethan Corp. However, any time Ishpeming started to click offensively, Portage extended its lead further.
Ishpeming picked up three runs in the fifth inning to pull within six of Portage, but PL added another two runs in the top of the sixth. Down to its last at-bats, Ishpeming put together a small rally, getting a two-run double from Hunter Smith and a RBI single from Logan Hurkmans. Unlike Tuesday, however, Ishpeming couldn’t cut the deficit any further and was forced to play Portage again tonight for the title.
“Any time you’re in a championship game like that, sometimes you leave your guard down and that’s what we did,” Ishpeming head coach Tim Hares said. “We made some uncharacteristic mental errors and now we have to play them again. Tomorrow’s another day though and hopefully, our heads will be screwed on right because it’s for the whole ball of wax.”