Live to see another day

Esky tops Tri-County to advance in tournament

Adam Niemi | Iron Mountain Daily News Escanaba’s Graham Johnson scores in the second inning of a Little League 11-12 All-Star District 10 tournament game against Tri-County Monday in Kingsford.

KINGSFORD — It almost seemed like Kingsford wanted to lose, until it didn’t.

A couple defensive lapses and players looking at their feet between innings, it looked like Norway’s day.

Then Kingsford scored the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth in a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Norway in the Major Little League District tournament at East Kingsford field on Monday.

“Every time we play Norway it’s a battle,” Kingsford head coach Dan Brown said. “It was pretty much what I expected. They got some great players and made us go right to the limit again. To win it in the last inning, it’s fun to play them every time.”

Escanaba beat Tri-County 11-3 in Monday’s other matchup.

The wins pit Kingsford against Iron Mountain at 6:30 p.m. CDT today. Escanaba plays Norway in the loser’s bracket at 4:30 p.m.

A leadoff walk to Garrett Brown to start the sixth set the stage for a one-out RBI double by Trent McLain, whose line drive hit the fence in left-center field, allowing Brown to ease across home for the winning run.

Norway took a leadoff walk to open the bottom half of the inning, but was followed with a strikeout, flyout and a strikeout to end it.

Norway stranded runners on second and third in the fourth that could have made it a 6-3 game. A strikeout to end the inning gave Kingsford momentum it needed to tie it in the fifth on a passed ball.

“I think we had a couple opportunities in the early middle where we had base runners and some chances to add on and we didn’t,” Norway head coach Tony Adams said. “You get kind of crossed up with your pitching a little bit. I thought all our kids came in and pitched well. I would say for us there were two innings where we had an opportunity to add on and we didn’t get that hit.”

Norway took the lead in the first and matched Kingsford’s run in the second. Norway had just one hit in the game, a fourth-inning single by Cole Baij. The other five base runners came on walks.

Cameron Vanda, Carsyn Moore, Mason Trudeau and Baij scored for Norway.

McLain reached for Kingsford in the fifth with a single. Andres Finley had two hits for Kingsford. Jacob Deuter singled. Gavin Trevillian doubled and walked. Dakota Woodward singled.

In the nightcap, Escanaba held a 6-0 lead before Tri-County added three in the fourth.

Escanaba put the game out of doubt with a five-run sixth.

Graham Johnson, Cannon Arnt, Nolan Bink, Ashton Rymkos and Lennox Peacock each scored for Escanaba in the sixth. Peacock, Rymkos and Bink had hits in the inning.

Arnt tripled in the second inning and scored on a Bink single. Johnson also singled. Rymkos doubled in the first inning.

“The thing about this team is once their bats get hot they stay hot for a couple innings,” Escanaba head coach Jeremy Peacock said. “Once they had that one inning, I figured they would follow it with another inning and they did. It worked out. Definitely liked to play that last inning 11-3 instead of 6-3.”

Tri-County made errors on the basepaths, being doubled off twice and getting out in a rundown. Its lone offense came with a three-run fourth to dent Escanaba’s lead until the sixth.

The IM-Kingsford loser will face the Escanaba-Norway winner at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The winner of that game will play the IM-Kingsford winner in the district championship at 6 p.m. Thursday. If necessary, a second game would be played at 6 p.m. Friday. The district winner advances to Mount Pleasant on July 18.