Loukus walk-off hero for Keweenaw Minors
MARQUETTE – Catcher-shortstop Dean Loukus’ third double of the game, with none out in the bottom of the sixth inning broke an 8-8 tie and kept Keweenaw alive in the District 11 Minor (age 9-10) tournament at the expense of Portage Lake 2.
He was also the only player from either team with multiple hits, going 3-for-4 as he knocked in five runs, scored twice and stole a base.
Loukus also made a winner of relief pitcher Joel LePage, who went the final 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two. Starter Caleb Klein went 1 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on one hit and six walks.
PL2 scored five times in the top of the second to take a 5-3 lead, but Keweenaw answered with five of its own in the bottom of the inning. PL2 garnered two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth while keeping Keweenaw from scoring further until Loukus’ heroics that ended the game.
The winners’ William Lyons had a double and Brevin Antilla and Ashton Antilla singles as all three knocked in a run. Brevin Antilla also scored twice.
PL2’s Brady Schmierer doubled and scored a run as teammates Tom Lassila and Nick Horning each had one RBI.
Horning started for PL2, going 2 2/3 innings and allowing eight runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out five. Quinn Donnelly was tagged with the loss, going the final inning and allowing a run on two hits.
Keweenaw faces Negaunee today at 5:30 p.m. for a berth in the final after Portage Lake clubbed the Marquette County squad 13-0 in four innings.
Portage Lake connected for 11 hits and took advantage of too many Negaunee errors.
Mason Mikesch earned his second win of the tournament, pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowing just one hit. He had two strikeouts and no walks.
“We made most of the routine plays all day and they didn’t, that’s what it came down to,” PL manager Don Hill said.
Portage Lake made just two errors for the game.
Singles by Davin Hill, Mikesch, Colin Cowell, Eli Larson and Austin Salani punctuated a four-run first inning. This was followed by a five-run second in which Eli Larson and Salani drove in more runs, the former on a single, the latter on a fielder’s choice.
Hill, Mikesch and Larson had two hits apiece.
Portage Lake awaits Keweenaw or Negaunee in Friday’s championship game. If it does not win Friday, it will have a second chance Saturday.