Tri-County baseball team outscores Munising in Little League Minors tournament 19-10

Tri-County’s Ryder Kroupa, right, tags out Munising’s Nolan Connaughton at third base during their Little League baseball Minors Division tournament game played Thursday in Escanaba. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Austin Hemmingson)

ESCANABA — As sure as darkness descended upon Dickson Field Thursday night, the Tri-County Minor Division All-Stars advanced in the area Little League baseball tournament.

The 9- and 10-year-old team scored 16 runs in the final three innings to post a 19-10 triumph over Munising in a game halted with one out in the top of the sixth.

Counting as a complete game, the victory enables Tri-County to resume playing today in a winner’s bracket contest against host Escanaba at 7 p.m. Munising faces Gladstone in an elimination game at 5 p.m.

Tri-County, a team pulling players from the Skandia, Eben and Trenary areas, led 13-10 through five before adding six runs in the sixth in a game that lasted three hours.

“That was fun,” Munising manager Kyle Connaughton said. “This was one of the most fun games I’ve been involved in. It was exciting to see all the smiles on the players’ faces and to see them giving each other high-fives and backslaps.”

Tri-County trailed 4-3 after three, then took advantage of four walks and an error while scoring four times for a 7-4 lead in the fourth.

Munising climbed within 7-6 on Carson Costectine’s infield single in its half of the fourth.

Tri-County, cashing in on three errors and four walks, pushed across seven runs for a 13-6 advantage in the fifth.

Munising answered with four runs by taking advantage of an error and four walks in its half of the fifth.

Tri-County’s Jake Dahn ripped a pair of RBI triples, including one to left field just moments before the umpires stopped the game.

Dahn’s RBI triple to left-center opened the scoring in the first. Tri-County then added a pair of runs for a 3-0 lead in the second, before Munising closed within 3-2 in its half of the inning.

Isaac Rondeau added two hits for Tri-County and Hudson Rockhill had a pair for Munising.

Rockhill pitched three innings and took the loss. He struck out nine, walked six and allowed six runs on one hit.

Munising used five pitchers who combined for 14 strikeouts and 12 walks, hit a batter and gave up seven hits.

Tri-County sent four to the hill, striking out nine, walking 11, hitting two batters and allowing five hits.

The teams combined for seven errors, including five by Munising.

After tonight’s contests, the tourney concludes with an elimination game 1 p.m. Saturday.

The top two finishers advance to the District 10 tournament, which begins July 18 at Dickson Field.