2012-04-19 / Sports

Norsemen surprising Classic county champs

By Alan Campbell
Of The Enterprise staff

THE SUTTONS BAY baseball team poses for a picture after winning the Leelanau Classic on Saturday. THE SUTTONS BAY baseball team poses for a picture after winning the Leelanau Classic on Saturday. Shouldn’t Suttons Bay get three trophies?

The surprising Norsemen baseball team opened the 2012 campaign with four straight wins, the last two in the return of the Leelanau Classic tournament that was played under sunny skies after a two-year hiatus caused by nasty weather.

“We had not anticipated that type of start in that we are a young team,” said coach Doug Periard. “Overall, I was pleased with the way the kids played.”

Suttons Bay outlasted another young team in Lake Leelanau St. Mary in its first game, 17-7, then used a three-run final inning to clinch the round robin tournament title over Glen Lake, 7-5.

“We jumped out in front, fell back, but came back to win,” said Periard of the title game. “We didn’t play error free, but we kept our mistakes to a minimum.”

Glen Lake hosted the Classic this year, but was the away game in the final. The Lakers scored once in the first inning, but Suttons Bay came back with three runs of its own led by a RBI single off the bat of Alex Crocker. The Lakers fought back to take a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the sixth before Zack Rice doubled and scored on a Martin Stowe single. Jesse Fox singled, Sam Kelty walked and Aaron Orban’s fielder’s choice sent Stowe scampering home with the go-ahead run.

Winning pitcher Jake Kiessel was chosen the tournament MVP. He went the distance, scattering 8 hits, striking out 6 and yielding just 2 walks.

Laker Dylan Wendels singled twice; credit Thomas Waning with two singles and 3 RBI.

Suttons Bay struggled to take control against a 12-member Lake Leelanau St. Mary team that included five players from Leland. The two schools joined their program in response to a shortage of players coming up the ranks.

The Norsemen poured in five runs in the first inning on hits from twins Sam and Randy Kelty, and Crocker. They added three more in the fourth inning, backed by a Randy Kelty single and Crocker’s double.

But St. Mary came back with four runs in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the sixth inning, narrowing the lead to 10-7 heading into the final inning.

The Keltys and Crocker again provided firepower, providing singles in a seven-run seventh. Jason Winowiecki also singled.

Also credit Dylan Grant with a pair of singles and 2 RBI; Rice doubled. Winning pitcher Martin Stowe provided five innings of work, with Logan Mikesell offering two innings in relief.

For the Eagles, John Van Raalte singled twice. Jack Garthe, Lee Wichern and Richard Herman contributed one-base hits.

In the tourney opener, Glen Lake breezed by St. Mary, 11-0. Winning pitcher Wendels yielded just singles to Wichern and Collin Platts over four innings, and with the aid of double plays in the first and fourth innings faced the minimum number of batters.

Glen Lake power was powered by Waning’s bat, which provided a triple and single. Jordan Hill singled twice and had 3 RBI. Andrew Gutzka and Curtis Bunek also swatted a pair of singles. Mike Sawyer added 3 RBI.

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