Negaunee no-hits Marquette to open Little League Minors tournament
By RYAN SPITZA
For the Mining Journal
NEGAUNEE — Tristan Miller fanned 11 over four innings as the Negaunee All-Stars defeated Marquette 8-1 in the District 11 Little League Minors tournament at Bernie Rivers Memorial Field Saturday afternoon.
Miller allowed zero hits and only two walks through the first four innings while his teammates, Morgan Robar and Aiden Steele, kept the Marquette offense silent the last two innings with two strikeouts apiece to complete the combined no-hitter for Negaunee.
“We were pretty excited about the performance of our team today,” Negaunee manager Jeff Martin said. “The kids have started to get a little edgy in practice and we’ve been ready for this game for a while. It was nice to finally come out and see what they could do.”
Negaunee got the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning when Jayce Patron came home on a fielder’s choice to first base. Shortly after that, it was Robar hustling home on a wild pitch to give Negaunee an early 2-0 lead.
Negaunee would tally on two more runs over the next two innings before Marquette got on the board in the top of the fourth when Jacob Ridl scored from first base after a overthrow to second rolled into center field.
That’s as close as Marquette would get as Negaunee followed that up with four more runs in the bottom of the inning, stemming from a bases loaded walk, a wild pitch and an Aiden Martin base hit to center, which brought home Bryce Granato and Braylon Hakkarainen.
“We struggled in the batting box and I think that was the difference in the game,” Marquette manager Jamie Ridl said. “They had a good pitcher on the mound and he did a great job. He threw strikes and that’s what you ask for in kids at this age.”
Marquette went through four pitchers all together and combined for eight strikeouts and five walks. Noah Wautier started on the mound for Marquette and fanned two before being pulled after 1 and one-third innings.
Ridl added that his team will get back to practice tonight and be prepared for their elimination game on Monday.
“The boys have batting practice Sunday and then we come back Monday night ready to go,” Ridl said. “It’s do or die now, so you’ve got to get it done.”
The location, time and opponent have yet to be determined for Marquette’s elimination game.
Negaunee advances in the winner’s bracket and will take on the Keweenaw All-Star Team today at 4 p.m. at Rivers Field.
“We’re as prepared as we’re going to be,” Martin said. “We’re going to show up a little early, get some warm-ups in and hopefully play the same ball game we did today.”