BREITUNG TOWNSHIP - Kingsford turned the tables on Iron Mountain North in the Little League Major (age 12-under) baseball area tournament Tuesday at the East Kingsford Sports Complex.
North outlasted Kingsford 2-1 in a nine-inning test on Saturday. The two teams went the same distance Tuesday, with Kingsford advancing to the district with a 10-4 victory.
Kingsford ended the elimination bracket marathon with a seven-run ninth, doing damage with four straight two-out hits.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photos
Iron Mountain North catcher Riley Johnson tags out Kingsford’s Aden Johnston in the Little League Major (age 12-under) baseball area tournament Tuesday at the East Kingsford Sports Complex. Kingsford scored seven runs in the ninth inning and advanced to the district tournament with a 10-4 decision. At left, Kingsford pitcher Darren Wood fields a ground ball and throws out Iron Mountain North’s Gavin Londo.
Austin VanPembrook, Ethan LaVarnway and Aden Johnston delivered three consecutive ninth-inning singles, and Darren Wood followed with a double. Marc McCole slugged a two-run homer to complete the blitz.
North attempted to respond in the bottom of the ninth inning when Trent Juul opened with a line shot at right fielder Jon Sturm. North did score a run after doubles from Riley Johnson and Jon Nelson, and an Alec Challancin single.
North, extended to the final inning in all four area tourney games, opened with a 3-0 lead after two innings. Kingsford rallied for two runs in third inning and nearly added more if not for a defensive gem. North first baseman Gage Theisen registered one out and threw to catcher Riley Johnson who tagged out a Kingsford runner to complete a double play.
Kingsford sent the game into extra innings when Sawyer Perpich, in a 10-pitch duel with North's Tyler Halfaday, singled home the tying run in the sixth for a 3-3 deadlock.
Wood and Perpich each registered three of Kingford's 16 hits off North pitchers Charlie Gerhard, Halfaday, Nelson and Trey Boyer. Halfaday pitched from the third through sixth inning.
VanPembrook (double), LaVarnway and Johnston had two hits apiece.
Kingsford pitchers Wood and Nate Krueger, who came on in the seventh inning, allowed nine hits. North's Tyler Beauchamp, Johnson and Challancin notched two hits apiece.
Kingsford will take one loss to the district tournament, meeting Tri-County at 4 p.m. Friday at the East Kingsford Sports Complex. Unbeaten Norway, with a nucleus from last year's 11-year-old state tournament team, will meet Gladstone in the second game Friday at 6 p.m.
Kingsford-Tri-County winner will face the loser of Norway-Gladstone at 11 a.m. Saturday.