• To the Traverse City Pit Spitters, who capped their inaugural campaign in dramatic fashion. The Pit Spitters beat the Eau Claire Express 3-2 with their second walk-off victory in four games of the Northwoods League’s playoffs and clinched a league championship in Friday’s Summer Collegiate World Series at Pit Spitters Park in front of 4,636 fans.

The Pit Spitters won 44 of their last 51 games after a 12-13 start to the season.

“This is a tremendous signal of what we’ve been trying to do all year,” Pit Spitters CEO Joe Chamberlin said. “We’ve really been trying to bring baseball back, bring the fun back. And there’s no better way to finish it off than with a championship.”

  • To Sklarczyk Seed Farm of Johannesburg, which received the 2019 Michigan Agriculture Exporter of the Year Award from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“Not only is this a homegrown, generational operation run by a great family and supported by an incredible team,” MDARD Director Gary McDowell said. “But it’s also a model for how Michigan’s food and agriculture businesses continue to adapt and evolve with an ever-changing, global market.”

  • To Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools and its community members. Seven years of planning and two years of construction led to one brand new elementary school — the ribbon was cut and the building was blessed in front of hundreds of onlookers during the opening ceremony for the Immaculate Conception Elementary School on Thursday. The first day of school was still weeks away, but students and their families eagerly entered the hallways and then made their way to their classrooms for a tour.

Principal Jessica Lesinski called the new school “an overabundant blessing.”

“It’s so humbling. You can’t even believe that it’s actually here, that it’s actually happening,” she said. “When you put children of God in here who are filled with the urge and excitement to learn and pray, it just lights up the hallways.”

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