Kingsford tops Norway in minor tourney opener

Little League

Adam Niemi/The Daily News Photo Kingsford’s Joey Webber singles against Norway in the District 10 Little League Minor tournament on Friday at Marion Park.

NORWAY – The Kingsford Little League Minor team (ages 9-10) fended off a late Norway rally for a 15-11 District 10 All Star tournament win on Friday night at Marion Park.

Kingsford took advantage of Norway’s defensive miscues and built a 12-2 lead in the third inning. Kingsford scored seven runs in the third. Norway’s spirit was quieted until its own rally, plating five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Kingsford added two runs in the fifth.

“It’s tough when you get down 12-2, it’s tough to keep your head,” Norway coach Brett Baij said. “We’re a pretty young team, we’ve got some nines (year-olds) on here. It’s tough against a team like Kingsford to stay in it.”

Norway rallied with three runs in the sixth but Kingsford slammed the door on a comeback with a game-ending double play.

“It was a crazy game,” Kingsford coach Dan Brown said. “Every time we play Norway or Iron Mountain, it’s a crazy game. You can never score enough runs to win the game.”

Kingsford advances in the tournament to play Iron Mountain at 10 a.m. today. Norway remains in contention, playing the loser of the Iron Mountain-Kingsford game at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Baij said Norway’s 11 hits across the final three innings was a bright spot to build on for Sunday’s game.

“There were some good things we could take out of here,” Baij said. “There was a lot of bad things, but there were some good things we could take that we thought we could build off of for Sunday.”

Bryce Adams and Landon Amundson had three hits for Norway. Cole Baij and Cameron Varda had two hits.

Andres Finley and Trent McClain had three hits for Kingsford. Joey Webber had two hits.

Brown said Kingsford’s ability to stop Norway’s comeback has come to define its season.

“Our kids have played like that all year,” Brown said. “They’re resilient and we have a couple bad innings but we bounce right back and score a bunch of runs in the end. It’s the way we’ve done it all year. I was holding my breath for sure, no doubt. Nothing is a sure thing.”

Baij said Norway’s mistakes have been a downside of its season.

“A lot of mistakes, we made a lot of mistakes. We kept fighting from behind,” Baij said. “Fighting and fighting. We just couldn’t get over the hill. We’d get a couple back and then we’d give them a couple. That’s been our story all year is mistakes. We hit the ball pretty well, but our mistakes hurt us, hurt us, hurt us. We got to overcome that if we’re going to move on here.”

Kingsford 057 021 – 15

Norway 011 513 – 11