Minors roundup: Rajala’s, Elks earn wins

SOUTH RANGE/STANTON — Playing their last game before the Portage Lake Little League Minors playoffs begin Monday, Rajala’s Kitchens and the Copper Country Elks both finished strong Saturday. Rajala’s earned a 14-2 victory over Houghton Rotary while the Elks outslugged KBear, 18-9.

Rajala’s Kitchens 14, Houghton Rotary 2

Rajala’s jumped out to a four-run lead with doubles by Blake Beltunen and Brycyn Nettell. Max Nordstrom and Rylan Guilbault both blasted triples at Veterans Field in South Range.

Nordstrom finished his day just a double short of hitting for the cycle, racking up with five RBIs over the course of the game.

On the mound, Connor Helminen, Heltunen and Nettell combined to strike out 11.

For Houghton, Jax Pierner had a single and a triple with an RBI. Russell Trewartha had a triple. Isaac Wanhala had a single.

Copper Country Elks 18, KBear 102 9

During a beautiful day for baseball and the nonconference season finale for a pair of Portage and Keweenaw teams, Terrance Nolan earned the win for the Elks, pitching three innings and striking out three.

Hayden Matteson started the game and Levi Matteson pitched the final inning with one strikeout.

Izaak Englund took the loss for KBear striking out one Elk in one inning of work.

Pierce Johnson had two hits for the Elks and scored four times. Averett Matteson scored three times and cracked two RBI triples.

Landen Gibson scored three times as well, was 3-for-3 with two triples, and RBI and a walk. Hayden Matteson had a great day at the plate too — two walks, two hits, three runs scored and two RBI.

KBear kept it close early with a first inning grand slam by Max Harju. Harju later singled, walked and scored another run. Trevor Berg struck out one Elk, pitching the first, and he scored in the second after a lead off triple. He later reached on a fielder’s choice play and walked.

Clara Isaacson pitched an inning for KBear and drove in two runs.

Playoffs start this week for both Keweenaw and Portage Lake with games on Monday.