GLADSTONE - The Norway boys Major (ages 11-12) team will live to play another day, as they eliminated Gladstone with a 10-3 victory Friday.
Productive hitting and solid pitching sealed the deal for Norway, who scored at least one run in all but one inning of the contest. Landen Kaldor and Ben Snyder began the game with a pair of singles and after a series of overthrown balls, Norway was off to the early 2-0 lead in what would prove to be a frustrating day for Gladstone.
The lead was expanded to 4-0 in the second inning when Trevor Anderson and David Loomis both ripped hits up center field, and Kaldor drove them both home with a double that rolled along the left field baseline. Trey Doda added another hit and after another set of miscues by the Gladstone defense, he was able to round the bags and score.
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
Ben Kelly of Gladstone pitches during their game against Norway, Friday, at Howes Field in Gladstone. Norway won 10-3.
"(Kaldor) is our lead-off hitter, and he gets us going every game," said Norway manager Mike Snyder. "He's a good hitter."
He added that it's always nice to get a victory, but they are in a situation where they aren't left with much of a choice.
"We've got a long road ahead of us," he said. "We're in the loser's bracket, so we've got to just keep winning. We've got the players to do it, and we're going to try to keep putting the W's up."
Gladstone fought from behind the entire contest, mustering up one run in the second inning due in part to a base hit by Cooper Cavadeas. However, they couldn't find enough offense to contend with the bats of Norway, and their impressive run finally drew to its conclusion.
"They battled hard," said Gladstone manager Mike Martin. "But we had a few miscues, and you can't have those against this Norway team. Hats off to them, and good luck on their run."
He added that the team responded very well after losing a nine-inning marathon game against Munising to begin the tournament.
"They bounced back well and started hitting the cover off the ball," he said. "I'm really proud of them."
Norway went on to score two runs in the third, two in the fourth, and one in the sixth. Kaldor went 3-4 with a double and two RBI's. Snyder, Dalton Hancheck, and Anthony Hansen also hit doubles.
They move on to play Munising, which fell to Iron Mountain North 10-0 in four innings Friday night. That game is set for today at 2 p.m. Iron Mountain North will play the winner of that contest Sunday at 2 p.m. for the district title.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth, Gladstone was down 10-1 and facing elimination. Ben Kelly hit a lead-off single, then Ethan Nelson followed it up with one of his own, but Kelly was out at second. Jacob Viau also came up with a base hit, and after multiple errors, a run scored and another made it into scoring position.
Viau scored after a passed ball, but Norway retired the side with a strikeout and a flyout to claim the win.