By Calli Townsend
Both teams in the MHSAA Division II District 60 Championship began the game with hot bats, but the Lutheran North Mustangs showed consistent power at the plate to snag the title, with a 16-6 victory of the Marine City Mariners on Friday, June 4.
Lutheran North’s Carter Penn set the tone in the first inning with a three-run homer. With a 3-0 deficit after the top of the first, the Mariners answered back with four runs of their own. Bases were loaded when Nolan Distelrath doubled on a line drive to score all three base runners. He then scored off a single by Parker Atkinson.
A close game soon slipped away from the Mariners, as back-to-back five-run innings in the second and third from the Mustangs put them away.
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Another run for Lutheran North in the top of the fourth set the score 14-4 as the Mariners stepped to the plate again. Mason Walker hit a much-needed triple to spark some momentum in the lineup. Jeff Heaslip then singled to right field to score Walker, 14-5.
A quiet fifth and sixth inning with only three hits from both teams combined kept the score 14-5 as they entered the final inning.
With back-to-back doubles from Adam Peters and Noah Tunnecliffe added one more run and another base runner for the Mustangs. Tunnecliffe then scored the final run for Lutheran North on an error.
The Mariners put forth a few more hits to score another run, but the deficit was too large to overcome in one final inning.
Ben Narr was the winning pitcher on the day, throwing 80 pitches, facing 21 batters, and striking out three.
Mason Walker led the Mariners’ offense with his triple in the fourth, totaling four bases and one run.Distelrathchipped in with a double as well to start the game.
Marine City finished its season 14-13-1. Lutheran North advances to the Regional semifinal on Wednesday, June 9.