Sayen’s rallies, but too late to catch ECP

Jamie Glenn/Daily Mining Gazette Sayen’s Auto Sales’ Ian Hembroff connects with a pitch during Portage Lake Little League Majors action against ECP Funeral Home on Saturday.

SOUTH RANGE — In nearly perfect conditions for baseball, Saturday’s Portage Lake Little League Majors action, ECP Funeral Home topped Sayen’s Auto Sales, 18-10, at Veterans Field in South Range.

Sayen’s came out swinging with three runs from Brayden Larson, Ian Hemboff and Kirby Storm.

Hemboff ended the day with three runs and Storm scored four times with two coming in late fifth and sixth inning rallies.

It was a quite first inning for ECP as Keegan Davidson and Ben Ekdahl got the bats rolling for the visitors. Davidson finished with two runs and Ekdahl had three.

Sayens led 3-2 heading into the third. Brent Johsnon walked and later scored to even the game for ECP. The tie did not last long as Sayen’s picked up two runs in the bottom half as Hembroff and Storm both scored.

ECP got three runs in the fourth from Ekdahl, Michel Hodge and Irving Haataja before breaking things open in the fifth and sixth with every player touching home plate.

Sayen’s Auto made a late five-run rally in the fifth and sixth innings with scores from Storm, Matthew Guilbault and Hudsun Markham, but it was too little too late.

“I thought offensively we looked really good,” said Chris Davidson, manager of ECP. “Our bats were working (and) our boys looked really good at the plate putting the ball in play and just capitalizing on that and hustling on offense.

“The boys are playing good as a whole and as a team. No matter where I put them in the field or where they’re at in the batting order they’re stepping up and making plays.”

Davidson was really pleased with the efforts of Johnson.

“Brent Johnson had a really good game today on offense, but overall the whole team did,” Davidson said. “They came up and made plays when they needed to.”

Sayen’s Auto coach Mike Guilbault saw a close game in the opening innings before outfield errors got the best of his team.

“It was a pretty close game in the first few innings and then we had a couple of innings were we gave them (ECP Funeral Home) too many outs,” he said. “We didn’t take care of the baseball and that’s how the game ended.”

Both teams will play again on Tuesday in the last week of regular season games.

“We’ve got to clean up some mistakes and get ready for the next game,” said coach Guilbault. “The next game is on Tuesday. We just need to take better care of the baseball on the defensive side.”

“Our next game is on Tuesday, so I think the biggest preparation we need to make is (to) just clean some things up defensively,” said coach Davidson. “We’re playing good enough to get a win today but theirs things we could do a little bit better on.”