Division 1 baseball: Portage Northern celebrates first state championship
East Lansing — Tyler Helgeson put on a show on the big stage of the Division 1 state-championship game at McLane Stadium on Saturday morning to help No. 2 Portage Northern to a 10-4 win over No. 10 Rockford.
Helgeson had a lead-off single and scored during a four-run first inning, then hit a three-run homer during a five-run fifth and singled again in the seventh.
Zach Quinn, the No. 2 hitter, and Cam French, who hit No. 6 in the lineup, also had three hits apiece for Portage Northern (39-7), which won 24 of its final 25 games and its first state championship after losing the title game back in 2015 to Hartland in 10 innings when Tommy Henry pitched the first eight innings in the 2-1 loss.
Henry now is pitching for Michigan, which advanced to the College World Series in Omaha for the first time in 35 years.
The championship game was a sloppy one with each team committing four errors.
Portage Northern had its leadoff hitter on base in every inning, three times on singles, twice on walks and two other times by error.
Xander Morris went the distance for Portage Northern to earn the win to improve to 10-0, giving up one earned run on seven hits, while striking out four without allowing a walk. He entered the game with a 1.44 ERA.
Grant Martin had two hits for Rockford (28-10), which also received a home run by Zach Schamp in the fifth.