KBear downs Calumet Machine for Little League title

The KBear 12U team poses after defeating Calumet Machine to win the Keweenaw Little League championship on Saturday in Laurium. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

LAURIUM — It was a 1-1 tie headed in to the bottom of the sixth and the boys from KBear had their work cut out on Saturday at the Gipp Fields.

They needed runners on base and at least one to score. They got just that and defeated Calumet Machine 2-1 to win the Keweenaw Little League U12 title.

KBear’s Joe Halonen started that inning off by getting hit by a pitch. He then stole second. Two batters later he was crossing home off a Wyndham David big drive to center – game over.

“Hats off to Joe (Halonen) who not only pitched a complete game victory but scored the winning run,” said KBear head coach Jeff Harju.

Halonen had 14 strikeouts. This included striking out Calumet Machine batters three times in a row in three different innings.

This was the fifth time these two teams had met this season. KBear (11-1) had defeated Calumet Machine three times before. Calumet Machine (6-4) dealt them their only loss.

“This was a great game as were all the other meetings between us,” said Calumet Machine’s head coach Gary Wiseman. “In this one, you had the two best teams with the two best pitchers going at it.”

After two scoreless innings by both sides, Calumet Machine got on the board in the top of the third. In that frame, catcher Aaron Londo got on with a base hit. He stole second and came home on a Luke Pennala single to left.

Oskar Loukus was Calumet’s Machine’s starter. He threw three scoreless innings before KBear got around to him. In the fourth, KBear’s first baseman Liam deBeaubien slapped a single to left center. Three pitches later he stole second and ended up on third thanks to a wild pitch. Halonen would join him on the bases as would catcher Toby Johnson to make it base loaded, and Trevor Berg stepped up to the plate. He was hit by a pitch and in came deBeaubien to tie the game.

That’s how it would stay until the bottom of the sixth and KBear’s walk off win.

While he was frustrated with the close loss, Wiseman said he was pleased with the effort the Calumet Machine boys put in.

“This is a good group of kids,” he said. “It was a good season as the kids showed a lot of growth on the field.”

CM 001 000 – 1

KBear 000 101 – 2


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