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Montague collects district baseball title in season sweep of North Muskegon (photos, video)

Wildcats shut down Norsemen, 4-1, after surviving scare from Hesperia.

Photos by Bethany McCullough | CatchMark

MONTAGUE — Montague’s baseball team survived a closer-than-expected district semifinal against Hesperia, then the Wildcats completed the season sweep of North Muskegon to capture a Division 3 district title on their home field Saturday.

Montague swept North Muskegon on May 16 to essentially clinch the conference title, and the Wildcats earned a 4-1 win over the Norsemen in the district final on the strength of Kade Johnson’s pitching.

Montague avenged last year’s 13-3 district finals loss to North Muskegon.

Here are details from the district (North Muskegon did not submit info):

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Montague pitching:

Kade Johnson (winning pitcher) 6.2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 4 K, 3 BB

Colton Blankstrom (save) 1 IP, 0 H

Montague hitting:

Colton Blankstrom 2 H, 1 R

Kade Johnson 1 H, 2 RBI

Hayden McDonald 1 H, 1 RBI

Chase Gowell 1 H, 1 RBI

Tugg Nichols 1 H, 1 R

Records:

Montague 22-14

North Muskegon 21-15

What’s next:

Montague hosts Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in a regional semifinal game. The winner of that contest advances to Saturday’s regional at Davenport University, where it will face the Lansing Catholic-Laingsburg victor.

SEMIFINALS

North Muskegon 6, Ravenna 1: In the first semifinal of the day, the Norsemen defeated the Bulldogs behind Ryan Delora, who earned the pitching win with seven strikeouts and helped his own cause with two hits and two RBIs. This was the final game for Ravenna coach Paul Herremans, who retires after 32 seasons and more than 500 career wins.

Montague 1, Hesperia 0: In the second semifinal, the Wildcats held off the upset-minded Panthers with a big pitching effort from junior left-hander Owen Petersen, who struck out 12 and allowed only two hits. Colton Blankstrom picked up the save with a strikeout. Blankstrom, Chase Gowell, Tate Stine and Kade Johnson had hits for Montague, while Aidan Buchberger drove in the lone run with a sacrifice fly scoring Gowell.

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