SAGINAW— The Manistee Saints rallied twice before coming up short of the third required to win a National Amateur Baseball Federation regional title at Saginaw Valley Lutheran High School.
The Midland Tribe bested Manistee 6-5 in 10 innings after the Saints rallied to tie the game in the sixth and seventh innings to force extras.
Midland built a 3-0 lead through six frames in the championship contest, earning four runs (five total) on six hits and three walks against Manistee starter Kyle Gorski.
But the Saints kept their title hopes alive with three two-out runs in the sixth inning. Four straight hits, capped by a three-RBI double for former Traverse City West standout Alex Strickland.
Midland fought right back in the seventh with two more runs, but Manistee still managed to force extra innings with a solo home run by former Traverse City Central star Logan Briggs and an RBI single by Damien Leddy that plated Elk Rapids alum Devin Sempert.
Midland pulled out the victory with an RBI double that Manistee couldn’t match in the bottom of the tenth. Leddy gave up the winning run from the mound in his fourth inning of relief.
The Saints began the day with a must-win game in the tournament semifinals against the Pontiac Parkers and pulled out a 7-5 victory.
Manistee trailed 2-0 early, but tied the game at two in the fifth. The semifinal went to extra innings too. Each team scored three runs in the eighth inning before the Saints scored two in the ninth.
Sempert was 3 for 5 with two runs and two RBI in the victory. Briggs was 2 for 5 with two runs scored. Lucas Weinert was 2 for 3 with two driven home.
Nate Lange picked up the Saints win with two solid relief innings.