IM minors claim ‘Yooper’ title

By Justin Marietti

For The Daily News

ESCANABA – The Iron Mountain North Minor (age 9-10) Little League team continued their winning ways Monday by defeating Kingsford 8-5 to claim the Yooper Tournament championship.

After striking first blood in the top of the third for a 2-0 lead, Iron Mountain really got their bats going in the fourth when Jurgen Kleiman belted a lead-off double.

Luke Powell followed with an RBI single to send Kleiman home, and David Juul tapped a sacrifice bunt to knock home one more. Parker Stroud got past the catcher during a play at the plate to score and give his team a 7-2 advantage.

Kingsford struck back in the fifth inning with a nice defensive stand, then Andrew Paupore smacked a double of his own to get the ball rolling.

Logan Normand got a sac hit to drive in the first run, and Charlie Shaefer scored two more on an RBI single to make it 8-5 and Kingsford was back to within striking distance.

However, the relief pitching of Joey Dumais would not allow the comeback, and Iron Mountain closed it out with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the sixth.

“We did grand,” said Iron Mountain catcher Michael Savarin. “Our pitchers did great.”

Second baseman Ian Anderson had two hits in the contest to push his team to victory.

“We played good defense, playing positions, and hitting,” Anderson said.

Iron Mountain dominated their way to the championship, dispatching Norway 11-1 and then running past Schaffer 21-3 on their way to Monday’s title game.

“They played a nice, clean game,” said Iron Mountain coach Paul Julian. “Every kid pitched in and played hard.”

He added that their ability to hit helps them be successful.

Aside from winning a title, Nick Saari also celebrated his 11th birthday Monday.

“It feels pretty good,” he said.

The bat boy, Fulton Stroud, was just happy to be along for the ride with his team.

“They are cool and fun,” he said.

This year was the 20th anniversary of the Yooper Tournament. Gladstone won the inaugural tournament held in 1993.