by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
First, the major girls’ all-stars qualified for state. Now, it’s the minor girls on their way to the biggest stage for the second year in a row. It says a lot about the local program as the Little League postseason is underway with the best of the best doing battle with kids from other parts of the state.
The major girls, under the direction of head coach Steve Kowalski won their first two games at the state tournament over Mattawan, 11-6, and Jackson SW, 12-6, to win the pool.
After a bye Monday, the Rogers City girls got right back at it against Taylor North before losing in the single-elimination portion of the tournament Tuesday morning, 14-1. The girls finished eighth in the state.
State bound minor girls to play at Mattawan
The minor girls earned their ticket to state by winning the District 13 flag at Sault Ste. Marie with a tournament opening win over Cheboygan, 11-10, last Saturday and then back-to-back victories over the hosts, 11-4 and then mercied them in the championship game, 14-3.
Five of the players from last year’s state tournament team that competed at Gladstone bring their experience and seven players will be enjoying the trip for the first time. The state tournament for the eight to 10 year olds is in Mattawan, July 20.
“We have the flag and we are headed to states,” said head coach Leann Schalk.
Fundraising will be challenging because the minor girls are following in the footsteps of the major girls, but there will be a car wash Saturday at the Rogers City Elementary School from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Additionally, there will be a bake sale at the farmers’ market Friday.
“This is a huge opportunity for these girls and this would not be possible without the community support,” said Schalk. “The support we received was incredible and we are already getting it again this year.”
Major boys off to a hot start again
The major boys’ squad is making some noise themselves with a couple of mercy wins in district play.
Monday, the all-stars defeated St. Ignace 16-2 in the first game of pool play.
Sam Whitford, Peyton Lesko and Isaac Catalano combined to throw a no-hitter with Whitford getting the victory. He struck out seven and walked four. Daryl Hawley was 2-for-2 with a triple and four runs batted in (RBI).
Hawley and Whitford both scored three runs each. Whitford, Catalano, Kam Kowalewsky and Parker Konieczny all had doubles. Blake Kuznicki added a triple in the victory.< p>Tuesday, Rogers City mercied North Emmet,13-2, in four innings.
Catalano collected the win on the mound, while Kuznicki and Lesko also pitched and combined for six K’s.
Whitford was 2-for-3 with a double and four RBI. Kowalewsky added a hit and two RBI. Konieczny scored three runs. Catalano and Leo Gajewski crossed the plate twice each. Ryder Prysok, Hawley, Catalano and Gajewski also added hits for Rogers City.
The next game was Wednesday against Petoskey (past press time).
The minors boys have started play but no information was made available.