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Montague knocks off No. 1 North Muskegon for district baseball title

Sophomore Eli Petersen tosses gem for young Wildcats, who have come a long way this season.

Photos by Sophia Hall and Letisha Mikkelsen for CatchMark

A young Montague baseball team has come a long way during the 2024 baseball season. Look at the season series with top-ranked North Muskegon as a case study.

The greatest evidence of that came Saturday when Montague pulled a 4-1 upset victory over No. 1 North Muskegon in a Division 3 district final on the Wildcats’ field.

Montague (16-21-1) advances to Wednesday’s 4 p.m. regional semifinal against host Clare (26-5-1) at Brookwood Athletic Complex. Clare defeated Remus Chippewa Hills, 12-1 in five innings, in its district final.

North Muskegon closes another fantastic season with a 32-8 record.

Sophomore Eli Petersen pitched a gem for Montague in the district final against North Muskegon. The right-hander scattered six hits and allowed one earned run with seven strikeouts and one walk in a complete-game effort. Among the 81 pitches Petersen threw, 61 of them were for strikes.

Montague came a long way against North Muskegon this season. In a home doubleheader on April 10, the Wildcats were blitzed by the Norsemen, 15-0 and 10-2. In a Greater Muskegon Athletic Association tournament matchup May 4 at Marsh Field, Montague put a scare into North Muskegon as the Norse held on for a 2-1 win.

Montague turned the tables against North Muskegon in Saturday’s district final.

Montague got on the board in the second inning for a 2-0 lead when Connor McKeown was hit by pitch to force in Cole Herremans and Kellan Francis walked to force in Cole Moss.

The Wildcats made it 3-0 in the third when Jimmy Thommen scored on a wild pitch, then pushed it to 4-0 in the fifth when Petersen scored on an error.

Montague sophomore Eli Petersen (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)

North Muskegon tried to mount a rally in the seventh, spoiling Petersen’s shutout bid when Carter Mieler’s single scored Bronson Hurst, but the Norsemen left the bases loaded to end the game.

Petersen helped his own cause against North Muskegon by going 2-for-3 at the plate, including a double. Herremans, Ryver Jarka, and Fletcher Thommen also had hits for Montague.

Ryan DeLora took the loss for North Muskegon. The senior right-hander allowed two earned runs on three hits in two innings, striking out three and walking one. Bryce Colbert went 2-for-3 to pace the Norse at the plate.

In district semifinals matchups Saturday, Montague defeated Ravenna (8-3) in the first game of the day and North Muskegon beat Kent City (5-1) in the second game. Below are photos of those contests.

Photos by Sophia Hall and Letisha Mikkelsen for CatchMark

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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