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Tigers Top Rangers For MLL Major Division Championship

The Tigers captured a Maumee Little League Major Division championship with a 9-6 victory over the Rangers at Ford Field on June 29. The team included (from left) back row, manager Dan Hazard and coaches Mike Iwinski, Chris Kane, Brian Gugger and Ken Keller; middle row, Michael Iwinski, Peyton Wegman, Vaughn Gugger, Logan Nye, Dylan Reichow and Kasey Mills; and front row, Matthew Kane, Cody Keller, Danny Hazard, Thomas Laurie Jr. and Alexander Stambaugh.

BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — The Tigers held off the Rangers to capture a 9-6 Maumee Little League Major Division championship at Ford Field on June 29. A 5-0 lead propelled the Tigers past the Rangers after just two innings. Pitcher Danny Hazard led the game off with a double, and catcher Peyton Wegman and first baseman Vaughn Gugger followed with a pair of one-out RBI singles. Rightfielder Matthew Kane and leftfielder Dylan Reichow followed up with second-inning walks, allowing Hazard to knock another run in with a two-out single. Reichow and Hazard later scored on a Rangers error and a wild pitch to give the Tigers their 5-0 advantage. The Rangers got on the board in the bottom of the second on a triple by centerfielder Zachary Gronau, a beaming of third baseman Logan Gildemeister, a double from first baseman Anthony Brady and a wild pitch, but the Tigers came back to outscore them 2-1 over the next two frames. Wegman hit a solo home run over the right-center fence in the Tigers’ third inning. While the Rangers added a run in the bottom of the stanza on back-to-back doubles from shortstop Jacob Shrader and pitcher Jacob Olszewski, the Tigers added a seventh run on a fourth-inning single by leftfielder Thomas Laurie Jr., a stolen base, a wild pitch and an error. The Tigers next pushed the score to 9-3 in the top of the sixth. Gugger and centerfielder Michael Iwinski started the frame off by reaching on an error and a fielder’s choice. After taking third on an error, Gugger scored while Iwinski was stealing second and Laurie, Jr. and second baseman Alexander Stambaugh pushed the final Tigers run across with a pair of one-out singles. To their credit, the Rangers mounted a comeback attempt in the bottom of the stanza. The Rangers scored three quick runs with the help of a double by catcher Dylan Riley, a triple from second baseman Evan McGannon and singles by Gronau and Gildemeister to draw back within three runs, but Tigers reliever Cody Keller eventually forced the Rangers to strand runners on first and second base with a final pair of strikeouts. Hazard earned the win after allowing a pair of earned runs while striking out eight Rangers players over 4.2 innings and Keller surrendered two more earned runs while striking four more batters out over 1.1 frames. Hazard (double, two runs, RBI) also joined Laurie Jr. (run, stolen base) and Wegman (home run, two runs, two RBI) with a two-hit performance from the plate. Third baseman Logan Nye chipped in another hit and Kasey Mills contributed to the win in right field. The Founders/Maumee I.O.O.F. sponsored manager Danny Hazard’s Tigers squad, which also included coaches Chris Kane, Ken Keller, Mike Iwinski and Nick Stambaugh and team parent Katie Hazard. They finished the season with a record of 10-7-2. Olszewski struck out nine Tigers batters while allowing three earned runs over four innings and Shrader surrendered another earned run over two relief frames. Shrader (two doubles, run) also joined Gronau (triple, two runs, RBI) with a multi-hit performance; outfielder Michael Jaber and rightfielder Mason Thorpe each drew walks and Andrew Harris and Kristian Kozina contributed to the Rangers cause with their outfield play. Manager Jonathon Thorpe’s Rangers were without Zak Morris for the contest and finished the year with a record of 13-3-1.

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