Channing drives home with Durocher tourney title

STANTON – Team A played the early semifinal and won in seven innings. Team B won the second semifinal in 10 innings and turned right around to play the final of the Leo Durocher Memorial Tournament Sunday.

The smart money would have been on Team A, but the smart money would have been wrong, as Channing (Team B) defeated Wolverine-Orbit (Team A) going away 7-2 for the championship of the annual wood-bat tournament.

Channing, one of the top teams in the Wishigan League, a wood-bat circuit spanning the southern U.P. and northeastern Wisconsin, spotted the Twilight League crew two runs early, then put up pairs of their own in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

“We put the bat on the ball, just nothing solid. Everything pounded into the ground. We’ve hit a few games like that this year,” Wolverine pitcher Chris Saari said.

Lane Holsworth was named tournament MVP after hitting well above .500 for his team’s three wins, including one-run squeakers over Mosquito Inn-Toivola Saturday (5-4) and Stanton Sunday (4-3). In the title game, Holsworth went 3-for-4 and scored three times.

Wolverine opened the scoring when Beau Dupuis drew a leadoff walk, Alex Hill singled and both came in on Luke Paul’s RBI double.

Aidan Wienke was thrown out at the plate on a relay to end the second inning and Wolverine’s last serious bid for runs all day.

Channing took the lead when Holsworth and starting pitcher Kyle Sexton recorded one-out singles and later scored.

The pair figured prominently in the fourth, too, with Holsworth driving in one run and scoring the other on Sexton’s RBI double.

Two runs on four hits in the fifth inning essentially locked it up for the Dickinson County crew.

“A lot of their hard-hit balls, I left over the middle of the plate. Fastball right down the middle, changeups, hung a couple of them,” Saari said.

Saari took the loss. Sexton allowed two runs on six hits in a complete-game win.

Channing won a thriller in the opening semifinal when Sexton scored on a two-out bloop single from Mike Miller that dropped between fielders in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Stanton trailed 3-1 after five innings but tied it up with a pair of runs achieved after Daron Durocher and Brady Olson worked one-out walks and both Josh Hibbard and Mike Richards delivered two-out singles.

Wolverine won the earlier semi 3-1 over the Marquette County-based Tri-City North Stars.