Beauchamp Heating tops U.P. Rehab in Little League junior division quarterfinals

U.P. Rehab’s Cole Ranta, left, prepares for a catch as Beauchamp Heating & Plumbing’s Dez Mullen approaches home plate during the Marquette junior division playoffs at the Haley Field complex in Marquette Friday evening, June 23, 2017. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Little League junior division quarterfinals wrapped up Friday night with Beauchamp Heating and Plumbing defeating U.P. Rehab 12-1 Friday night at Haley Field complex.

Beauchamp Heating head coach Shane Cromell said it was an overall team effort that won Friday’s game in just four innings.

“Pitching and hitting was the biggest key tonight,” he said. “Everybody was swinging the bat well. Our kids are playing really well right now, and we’re hoping to keep this going.”

Beauchamp Heating started the game with a strong first inning, scoring four runs from Austin Ridil, Dez Mullen, Owen Beauchamp and Hayden Kauppila

U.P. Rehab responded in the top of the second with a run from Skyler Rubention batted in by Duncan Hogan, but Beauchamp Heating added four more runs from Ridl, Fitch Aden, Mullen and Issak Thiel to make it a seven-run game.

“We knew (U.P. Rehab) had some really good hitting,” Cromell said. “It was really huge to get the early lead in the first few innings.”

Owen Beauchamp stood tall on the mound for Beauchamp Heating the rest of the game, only allowing one run total on six hits through four innings of play.

With the win, Beauchamp heating will travel to undefeated Negaunee to play them at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The winner of the match will advance to the county championship, which will be hosted by the highest seed later in the week.

“We have to keep playing solid defense,” Cromell said. “Our hitters are playing well right now and our pitching is also backing us up, and if we can keep up the last part of our game, we can win a few more here.”

U.P. Rehab coach Kane Beauchamp said despite the loss, his players achieved the true meaning of playing sports at their age.

“With little league, wins and losses don’t mean as much,” Kane Beauchamp said. “The reality is we’re trying to get these kids better at baseball, to enjoy the game and appreciate it with a better understanding.

“For a lot of kids, this could be the last time they ever play, so we want them to have a good summer, have fun and if we win a few games or lose a few, it doesn’t really matter.

“Our guys played hard from beginning to end, and that’s what we were really looking for.”