Greater Bay 9-10s to face Norway in Little League title game
NORWAY — The Greater Bay Minor Boys’ Little League All-Stars got plenty of timely hits Tuesday night in a 7-2 triumph over Kalamazoo South Portage in a battle of two (4-0) teams, in a state semifinal game at Marion Park in Norway.
Solid pitching also helped Greater Bay’s cause as Carter Maze and Ryder Southern combined on a two-hitter.
The Bay City area team returns to Marion Park to face host Norway in the state championship game today at 4.
“Our pitchers really stepped up to the plate,” said Greater Bay manager Nick Southern. “They love to compete. The first run gave us confidence and set the energy in the dugout. Momentum is everything. The kids really get into the game and play their parts very well.”
Colton Burch scored Greater Bay’s first run on a passed ball in the opening frame.
Burch also got Greater Bay’s second run on Easton Londry’s triple to right field in the third frame. Londry then added the third run on an error.
“The extra couple runs helped our pitcher relax,” said manager Southern. “You want to see the kids get excited, but at that point in the game there’s still a long way to go. The kids are seeing the ball well and making adjustments. They’re hitting the ball well.”
Oli LaForest’s single to left got South Portage on the board in its half of the third.
Greater Bay answered with a run in the fifth on Logan Debo’s single to center.
The winners added three runs in the sixth, including two on Debo’s double to left.
Matthew Walsh scored South Portage’s second run on Jackson Park’s ground out to second in the bottom of the sixth.
“We’ve seen faster pitching, but had a hard time connecting for some reason,” said South Portage manager Stephanie Brown. “They’re nine and 10 years old. Momentum is so huge. We’re usually a good hitting team. Today, we didn’t have enough to pull ourselves out.”
Greater Bay collected nine hits, including three apiece by Burch and Debo. Ryan Southern, who added an RBI single to right in the sixth, finished with two.
Ryan Southern struck out three, walked two and allowed two runs on two hits through 5 1/3 innings of relief. Maze faced the first four hitters, striking out two and walking two.
LaForest, who pitched 4 2/3 innings, absorbed the loss. He fanned four, walked one and gave up four runs on six hits.
“The kids worked hard all summer,” said Brown. “We’re really proud of their effort. Unfortunately, our bats went cold today.”
South Portage committed two errors and Greater Bay had one.