Kingsford, Norway chalk state wins

HARPER WOODS – Three pitchers combined to limit Freeland to five hits and Kingsford opened the Little League senior (age 15-16) baseball state tournament with a 4-3 decision Thursday.

“The pitching was great and the defense was outstanding,” said Kingsford manager Mark Allen.

Brett Swanson, John Edwardson and Brady Hicks pitched for Kingsford. They also struck out seven and walked one.

Swanson (double) and Edwardson each stroked two of Kingsford’s eight hits. Noah Voss added a double while Jackson Ferree, Joe Linn and Kyle Henes each singles.

Kingsford recovered from a 2-0 deficit in the second inning and 3-1 in the fourth. Kingsford plated a run in the third inning when Ferree singled home Gavin Johnston.

Kingsford tallied three runs in the fourth frame on singles from Swanson, Henes and Edwardson.

Kingsford and Taylor clash at 3 (Central time) today.

Norway juniors edge Taylor 2-1

ROCHESTER HILLS – Norway opened pool play of the Little League junior (age 13-14) state baseball tournament with a 2-1 win over Taylor Northwest.

“It was a great defensive game,” Norway manager Jim Bal said.

Ethan Blagec worked four innings for Norway, keeping Taylor to one hit while striking out three and walking none.

“He pitched phenominial,” Bal said.

Norway had just three hits in the game but was able to score two runs in the bottom of the fourth with help from some shaky Taylor defense. Hunter Kaldor reached on an error and moved to second when Cody Carlson was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up another base on a wild pitch. Then Bryce Broden hit a ball that was missed at third, allowing Kaldor to score. Carlson later came home on a passed ball.

A few Norway errors helped Taylor get one run back in the sixth, but Norway was able to work out of the bases-loaded jam without further damage.

Bobby Kleiman, one of three Norway relievers to see action, picked off a runner at second. And Norway threw out a runner at home on a fielder’s choice.

Broden and Calrson also threw pitches for Norway, as Bal worked to keep as much pitching as possible available for the weekend.

Norway faces Rochester Hills this afternoon and wraps up pool play Saturday against White Lake.