MARQUETTE - Kingsford Blues will play for the American Legion baseball's Class A state championship.
The Blues overcame a Hudson rally to post a 9-7 victory Friday and secure a berth in the finals.
Kingsford, managed by Kevin Murdock, will play the winner of Hudson-Menominee at 1 this afternoon in the first final. If necessary, a second title test will be played Sunday.
Kingsford built a 9-1 lead after five innings before Hudson struck for two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth.
Blues starter Austin Murdock allowed six hits through seven innings. Nick Sweig permitted three hits in the final innings.
Five Hudson throwers yielded 13 hits including three by CJ Qualley. Kyle Sexton, Matt Wiitanen, Ian Wienke and Cole Tengesdahl chipped in two apiece.
Qualley and Tengesdahl tagged triples. Sexton, Murdock, Wienke and Tengesdahl had doubles.
Qualley also knocked in two runs and scored twice. Wiitanen and Wienke tacked on two RBI apiece. Qualley and Gregory each scored two runs.
Elsewhere Friday, Menominee erased deficits of 3-0 and 6-4 to pull out a 10-inning, 7-6 victory over Gladstone in an elimination game.
The Red Wave, who entered the tourney with a less-than-modest 12-24 record, scored twice in the ninth inning and once more in the 10th to advance.
After getting knocked into the loser's bracket following a 4-3 loss to defending A champs Hudson on Thursday evening, Marquette bounced back with an 8-0 whitewash of Escanaba on Friday morning.
But a stirring comeback run in the tourney was short-circuited when upstart Menominee pulled off a 10-8 win against the Blues during the afternoon to finish their season at 46-22.
"Only one team is going to come out of this with a win," Blues manager Derek Swajanen said about the end of the tournament. "We had a real emotional game (Friday) morning, and it might've left us a little empty in the afternoon."
(The Mining Journal also contributed to this story)