Successful squeeze advances Sayen’s

HOUGHTON – Jaden Janke laid down a one-out squeeze bunt with two strikes in the eighth inning to score Pat Cortright with the winning run Monday in a 5-4 win for Sayen’s Auto over U.P. Auto Mall in the first round of the local Junior (age 13-14) baseball playoffs at Hancock Driving Park.

Cortright had reached on his second hit of the game, a double off the left-field wall, then moved up to third on Alan Jurmu’s groundout to second.

Sayen’s tied it in the fifth after Cortright walked and Jurmu drove him in with an RBI triple.

In the fourth, Auto Mall took the lead after Jesse Helminen had an RBI single, was one of two runs that came in on David Haapala’s two-RBI single and Garrick Ensminger came in on an error.

That erased a three-run first inning for Sayen’s in which Cortright had an RBI double, Jurmu an RBI single and Jurmu scored on an error.

Bryce Turner was the winning pitcher in relief, striking out eight in four innings. He allowed two hits and a walk.

Connor Poyhonen went six innings allowing six hits for Auto Mall. He struck out four, walked two and allowed three earned runs. Grant Johnson took the loss.

In Senior baseball, Coca-Cola was outhit 8-4 by the Brewers in an All-Portage Lake first-round game, but outscored its opponent 6-4.

Brad Juntunen scattered 10 hits in a complete game for the winners.

The Brewers took a 3-0 lead after Justin Ruotsala’s sacrifice fly and fielder’s choices drive in Cole Jepsen and Christian Cortright in the first inning, but Carter Puuri drove in two runs for Coca-Cola to cut the gap.

Coke took control in the third after two errors and a hit by pitch loaded the bases. Puuri drove in two more runs with a single, Riley McKay scored on an error and Jared Peryam drove one with a single.

The only response the Brewers could muster was a fifth-inning run from Caleb Carlson who reached on an error and scored on an error.

Jepsen went 4-for-4 in defeat, while Jack Kinnunen had two hits. Puuri led the winners with two hits.

In the Portage Lake Little League Minor (age 9-10) baseball playoffs, Tervo Agency got a strong outing from Brandon Norkol in a 5-2 win over Thrivent Financial.

Norkol went 4 1/3 innings and struck out seven, allowing two runs.

Tervo put up two runs in the second and one in the third to give Norkol a 3-0 lead before Thrivent pulled two back.

Chad Nordstrom came on in the fifth and earned the save, while his Tervo teammates picked up two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Kade Farrell had two hits for Tervo, while Thomas Lassila had two hits for Thrivent.

J. Peltier Construction breezed into the next round by defeating Kissel Chevrolet 14-2 behind a 10-hit attack.

Kissel took an early lead after Brad Johnson and Tanner Larson singled and a run scored on an error, but J. Peltier hung four runs up in the first and five in the next two innings.

Big blows in the outburst were a two-RBI first-inning single from Mason Mikesch and, in the second inning, a two-RBI single from Dylan Horning and a two-RBI double from Davin Hill.

Shawn Ruotsala and Mikesch pitched two innings apiece, with Mikesch, Rylan Marcum and Dylan Horning having two-hit games.

Johnson and Larson had two hits apiece for Kissel.

In senior softball, Lakes Dairyland trailed 12-4 midway through its game with Jan Bruin-Slot Builders of Calumet, but sparked by a Taylor Shepeard grand slam, Dairyland scored eight times in the fourth inning and outscored its opponent 12-2 the rest of the way for a 24-12 victory.

Abby Sutherland was 5-for-5, with Shepeard and Kyleigh Audette recording two hits apiece. Sarah Audette was the winning pitcher.

For Jan Bruin-Slot Builders, Selena Stromer reached base four times, scoring three.

The teams will face off again Saturday at noon for the league championship at Gipp Recreation Complex.