Taylor North Little League wins Great Lakes region, World Series up next

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

There was no pressure on Taylor North Little League.

It had already punched a ticket to Williamsport, representing Michigan, with a 10-0 win via mercy rule on Thursday.

In Saturday's Great Lakes regional final against West Side Little League (Ohio), Taylor once again put its pedal to the floor and dominated its opponent in a 9-1 win in Whitestown, Indiana.

Taylor North (Michigan) bats against West Side (Ohio).

Ethan Van Belle had three-RBI double, Jackson Surma had two hits and an RBI, Lucas Farner was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, and Cameron Thorning 2-for-3 with an RBI double and three runs scored.

Van Belle also got the start and win for Taylor. He gave up one run on one hit in 5.1 innings, walking two and striking out nine. Jacob Furkas shut the door and struck out the two remaining batters after Van Belle was removed in the sixth. 

West Side jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a fielder's choice, but that was about as good as it got for the Ohio team.

Furkas got the scoring started for Taylor a half-inning later, reaching on a fly ball that was botched by the West Side outfielder with the bases loaded. Van Belle cleared the bases with his three-RBI double to center in the next at-bat, putting Taylor up 4-1 in the first.

A pair of RBI singles in the second inning from Thorning and Surma put Taylor up 6-1. Taylor scored its final runs of the day in the fourth; Chauncey Adkins singled to score Thorning and Max LaForest later doubled to score Adkins and Jaxon Shufeldt.