WATCH: Michigan Team Takes Little League World Series Title
And the best part: they beat Ohio to win it, 5-2.
Here's what you need to win baseball games: clutch hitting.
Michigan only had ten base runners in Sunday's Little League World Series title game against Ohio, but they drove five of them home to earn a 5-2 victory and the championship.
Ohio, meanwhile, put 14 runners on, including three innings where they loaded the bases, but could only muster two runs, and that was the difference.
Jackson Surma drove in four runs on a pair of two run singles to pace the team from the Taylor North Little League near Detroit to the state's second ever Little League title. Surma also scored a run.
The Ohio team, representing Hamilton, loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first inning off Taylor starter Ethan Van Belle, only to have Van Belle pitch his way out of the jam by getting a pop out and a strike out to end the uprising.
“That was very important,” Taylor coach Rick Thorning told the Detroit News after the game. “Ethan was throwing a lot of pitches that inning. … To get out of that with no damage was great. It kind of set the tone a little bit.”
Michigan then added three runs in the bottom of the inning when Surma knocked home Gavin Ulin and Cameron Thorning with a sharp single to left, and scored himself on a Jakob Farkas ground out to make it 3-0.
Ohio picked up a run in the second inning, and the game stayed at 3-1 until the bottom of the fifth when Surma struck again, sending a fastball up the middle to centerfield to drive in Lucas Farner and Ulin to make it 5-1.
Things got tense in the sixth and final inning when Ulin, on in relief of Van Belle loaded the bases with one out and then walked in a run to make it 5-2. But after some encouraging words from his head coach, Ulin settled down and got Chase Retherford to fly out to centerfielder Farkas, clinching the win and setting off a celebration.
“I had a rough two innings out there,” Ulin said after the game “ … I was a little worried there, but once I got out of it and got him to pop up, I was so happy. It was beyond words.”
The last Michigan team to win the LLWS title was Hamtramck back in 1959.
MICHIGAN'S TAYLOR NORTH ALL STARS CELEBRATE STATE's FIRST LITTLE LEAGUE SINCE 1959