IM North bows at state tourney

ISHPEMING – Iron Mountain North’s Little League major all-stars saw their state tournament run end Sunday afternoon, falling to Traverse City East 7-0 in the final game of pool play.

IM finished 1-2 in pool play. Grosse Point, at 3-0, and TC East, winning a tie-breaker at 1-2, advanced from the pool to the single elimination round that started today.

“The kids represented our league and our district well,” IM coach Bucky Johnson said. “They should be proud of what they accomplished.”

Marcus Johnson had the only hit for IM North against TC East.

“We just could not hit the ball,” Johnson said.

Foster Wonders and CJ Bolo pitched for North.

Iron Mountain evened its major state record Saturday by rallying past Taylor Northwest 9-7 in eight innings.

“What a game,” Johnson said. “This was one of the best games of the tourney by far.

“Our kids got behind and never gave up. So many of the players made clutch plays. It was awesome.”

A three-run homer from the clean-up hitter staked Taylor to a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

North answered in the top of the third with two runs. Tyler Beauchamp and Charlie Gerhard singled home runs.

Taylor matched those runs in the bottom of the third for a 5-2 lead. But North came back with three runs in the fifth to tie the game. Three walks set up Johnson bunting home one of the runs.

In the bottom half of the fifth, Taylor tagged a two-run homer for a 7-5 spread. North fought back with Beauchamp banging a two-out single and Bolo unloading a full-count pitch for a tying home run.

In the bottom of the seventh, North left fielder Quentin Ackerman robbed Taylor of a home run.

“It was a huge out,” Johnson said. “It was a big play in the game.”

In the eighth, Zach Spera reached first after being hit by a pitch. He later scored on a infield hit by Gavin Londo. Passed balls sent Londo home for the ninth run.

Wonders, in relief of Beauchamp in the seventh, closed the door in the bottom of the eighth.