North 11’s to state semifinals

VICKSBURG – Iron Mountain North Little League’s 11-year old all-stars are a win away from playing for a state title.

The North boys battled through pool play unbeaten over the weekend, accomplishing something no other District 10 Little League team has done before.

Iron Mountain North now faces Rockford in a state semifinal Monday at 3 p.m. (Eastern). A win in that game moves North into Tuesday’s state championship.

Pool play started Friday against Tecumseh. North turned them back 9-5 in five innings. Blake Julian, Bryce Pietrantonio, Jurgen Kleiman and Cameron Schultz toed the mound for North in the win, striking out eight and walking four. Schultz wound up finishing the game with 50 pitches, in a strong performance.

At the plate, Ian Anderson racked up three hits with a double and a triple. Joey Dumais added a triple and a single. Julian, Michael Savarin and Schultz all contributed singles.

North faced Cheyboygan on Saturday, pulling out a 15-14 win in a hard-fought, back-and-forth battle that lasted nealy three hours. Julian, Pietrantonio, Kleiman, Dante Basanese and Ian Anderson pitched for IM North. They combined for seven strikeouts and six walks. Pietrantonio, firing 65 pitches, collected the win.

Kody Sheldon and Julian smashed home runs for North and also each added a double and a single. Savarin, Pietrantonio and Basanese knocked two singles each. Kleiman, Anderson, Dumais, Carlson and Schultz had singles.

Iron Mountain took down host Schoolcraft on Sunday, winning 14-2 in four innings. Julian, Dumais and Savarin worked the mound, fanning six and walking four. Pietrantonio and Anderson clubbed home runs, with Anderson also connecting for a double and Pietrantonio a single. Sheldon and Julian added doubles, while Savarin and Basanese each tagged two singles.