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Portage Lake routs Negaunee, 10-0

Portage Lake Little League All-Star pitcher Brody Donnelly throws against Negaunee in the District 11 tournament Monday, July 5, 2021, in South Range, Mich. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

SOUTH RANGE — Portage Lake starter Brody Donnelly pitched a perfect four innings and led his team to a 10-0 win over Negaunee Monday night in the first round of the Michigan 2021 District 11 Little League All-Star Tournament.

“I just stayed calm and just tried to throw strikes,” said an smiling Donnelly after the game. “I knew the guys in the field would back me up, and we swung the bats well also.”

The right hander threw less than 45 pitches to the twelve batters he faced. He had four strikeouts along the way.

Portage Lake’s manager Daron Durocher was equally impressed.

“Brody was on top of his game,” he said. “It helped as well that our defense was right there making some key plays.”

It also helped to have a 6-0 lead after the first inning as Portage came out of the dugout swinging.

Benny Keranen started the inning off with a base hit to the left side. Donnelly then walked. Tevin Stukel was hit by a pitch, and that loaded the bases for Joel Durocher who hit a two-run RBI up the middle. Also connecting with big hits in that inning were Nolan Hanner and Casey Hiller who both came home to score.

“When you have a six-run opening inning, it gives you some breathing room to relax,” added Durocher.

Portage Lake plated two more in the fourth and two more in the fifth before the 10-run mercy rule was called.

The first run in the fourth came off the bat of Keranen who smashed a triple off the fence. In the fifth, it was Cole Seppala who got things going with a single to right center and would come home himself to score a few batters later.

Negaunee 000 0 — 0

Portage Lake 602 2 — 10

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