Bay City Southwest downs Midland to win Michigan Little League International State Championship

Bay City Southwest advances to Great Lake regional

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published July 30, 2015

 Bay City Southwest players and coaches hoist their trophy after winning the 2015 Michigan Little League International State Championship July 30 in Harper Woods.

Bay City Southwest players and coaches hoist their trophy after winning the 2015 Michigan Little League International State Championship July 30 in Harper Woods.

Photo by Jason Carmel Davis

HARPER WOODS — A team from Bay City will represent the state of Michigan at the Great Lakes regional in the 2015 Little League World Series after downing Midland 10-9 in the Michigan Little League International State Championship July 30 at Johnston Park in Harper Woods.

Bay City Southwest, which finished the state tournament with a 5-1 record, advances to the Great Lakes regional, set for Aug. 9-15 in Indianapolis.

Midland, which beat Bay City Southwest 14-8 earlier in the week, ends the tournament at 5-1.

"I'm ecstatic. They hung with it," Bay City Southwest coach Roger Phelps said after the game, which saw his team fall behind twice early. "This is truly a a great experience. These kids just sucked it up and played their hearts out. This is unreal."

Midland got on the board in the bottom of the first when Max Coughlin hit a two out, RBI double to give his team a 1-0 lead. 

Bay City Southwest struck back in the top of the second, plating three in an inning that saw the team tally three hits and three walks.

Bay City extended its lead to 6-1 in the top of the third via solo home runs from Eric Randall and Zander Nelson. Midland plated four in the bottom of the third to cut the Bay City Southwest lead to 6-5 on RBIs from Cam Patty, Logan McCoy (who hit a 3-run shot) and Alex Liakos (solo home run).

A three-run home run by Craig Freeman in the top of the fourth gave Bay City an 8-6 lead. Midland plated one in the bottom of the fourth, making it 8-6 in favor of Bay City.

Bay city Southwest's Mason Kolak drove in what would be the game-winning run when he hit a two-run shot to center field in the top of the fifth to put his team up 10-6. Midland's Luke Buza scored from third on a throwing error to get a run back, making it 10-7 Bay City Southwest after six. Midland added two runs in the bottom of the sixth, but left the tying run on base.

"That was a long game and (Midland) has a good team," Phelps said. "You can't lay down or give up. We played them earlier in the week and lost. They've got some excellent ball players and great coaches."

Phelps led a team from Bay City to the Great Lakes regional in 2008. He couldn't offer any special instructions to this team, though.

"You just have to go out and play baseball," Phelps said.

Grosse Pointe squad falls in semis

The Grosse Pointe Farms-City team advanced to the semifinals of the international state championship before falling 16-4 to Bay City Southwest July 29. Grosse Pointe ended the tournament with a mark of 4-1.

Bay City Southwest also beat teams from Petoskey, Richmond and Traverse City.

A team from Beverly Hills, Michigan, also competed in the tournament, finishing 1-2.

Harper Woods Little League hosted the tournament, which ran July 25-30.