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    Taylor North brings home Michigan’s second LLWS championship

    Finally, Hamtramck has company.

    For the second time ever, and the first time in 62 years, a team from Michigan has won the Little League World Series, with Taylor North beating rival Ohio, 5-2, on Sunday at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.

    Taylor North joins the 1959 team from Hamtramck, which, led by Art “Pinky” Deras, was considered one of the greatest Little League teams of all-time. Taylor North, which was led by dominant pitching from all over the roster and the big bats of Cameron Thorning (three home runs, nine RBIs) and Jackson Surma (eight RBIS), can now make a strong case to be in such legendary company. 

    Taylor's Jackson Surma hits a two-run single in the first inning.

    Surma led the way in Sunday’s final with four RBIs, including a two-run single to set the tone in the first, and another in the fifth to all but ice it — more than enough for Taylor North’s pitching staff, which was dominant at times, and clutch at times, getting out of three bases-loaded jams.

    Ethan Van Belle got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first inning, and after Ohio scored a run in the second, he got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third. To end the third, Van Belle, officially the staff’s ace, struck out two batters, then the Ohio runner at third left the base when he thought the batter had struck out; but it was just strike two, and Thorning, behind the plate, threw him out to end the threat.

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