Tervo Agency scores five in final inning to win

Jamie Glenn/Daily Mining Gazette Tervo Agency’s Eli Heathman readies to deliver a pitch during a Portage Lake Little League Majors game against Chassell VFW Thursday at Veterans Field in South Range.

SOUTH RANGE — Going into the top of the sixth inning, Tervo Agency and Chassell VFW found themselves deadlocked at 5-5 in Portage Lake Little League Majors action at Veterans Field in South Range. In the blink of an eye, that all changed as Tervo got contributions from nearly its entire lineup to score five runs and put the game out of reach, 10-5.

Hayden Guilbault led off with a walk and he later scored. Pitcher Eli Heathman helped himself out with a single to get on base. He later scored on a grounder by Logan Niemi, giving Tervo the early 2-0 lead.

Tervo would not score again until the third. In the meantime, the bottom half of Chassell’s lineup got going. Ethan Heckel singled and then scored on a single by Nick Andrews to give Chassell a 3-2 lead.

In the top of the third, Tervo got things going with Cale DeVoge singling. He was later brough in by a triple from Kade Jenkins. Jenkins later scored to give the visitors a 4-3 advantage

It did not take Chassell long to respond as Lane Johnson singled. Connor Arko doubled, scoring Johnson. He was then brought home by a single, making the score 5-4 in favor of the hosts.

Tervo answered quickly in the top of the fourth with Teegan Tapani walking and later scoring from third during a walk issued to DeVoge, evening things at 5-5.

Tervo manager Anders Hill, whose improved to 3-2 on the season, liked the way his team battled their way through a slow start.

“Our kids played really hard and battled,” he said. “It started kind of slow and we had some tough innings. We came into that last inning tied and our kids just played hard. I was really proud of them.”

In the sixth, Tervo started slowly with a quick strikeout, but Cale Ollanketo singled to spark the bats. Guilbault followed with a single and DeVoge doubled. Heathman helped his own cause with a triple and suddenly the visitors were up, 9-5.

Niemi struck out, but reached first on a defensive error. His base proved costly for Chassell as he managed to get home on a single by Luke Hill, giving Tervo their final run of the night.

“I think it was Hayden Guilbault (who) got us started on the base paths and (had) great running and Kade Jankins was hitting for us all night.” said Hill. “Our pitching… Eli Heathman has played with a broken wrist all year. If I had to think of three guys that really helped lead that team to a big win, those are the three (players) I would say.

“Our next game is here at South Range at 2 p.m. on Saturday and our goal is just to get a little better each time that we come out (onto the field). So, hopefully we’re a little better next time than we were tonight.”

Jeff Williams of Chassell VFW saw a strong team in the opening innings of the matchup, but small details got to the club in the end. Their next game will be on Tuesday.

“We played really well in the beginning,” Williams said. “(In) the first four innings, we were a great team. In the last couple of innings, we started to fall apart (by) missing a couple of little plays, which cost us a lot of runs.

“Our pitching was pretty good. Our pitching has always been pretty good. Something that we need to work on is our infielding and just making those plays stick and not making dropped balls and the little plays, making sure that we get all those in.”

Williams knows what his team needs to focus on and and plans on doing just that in their next practice.

“Our next game is (on) Tuesday and we’re going to be practicing on Saturday,” said Williams. “We’re just going to be running fielding drills and batting drills and just tightening up what we already do.”