WESTFIELD — In the end, there was only one team better in the Great Lakes Region than New Albany.
Grosse Pointe (Mich.) was nearly flawless in a pair of wins over New Albany, including Saturday's 13-0 victory in the Great Lakes Region championship at Westfield's Grand Park.
"They're a good team," New Albany head coach Brian Jackson said of the Michigan champs. "They're going to see them win the Little League World Series, mark my words."
It was the third time in nine years that New Albany reached the Great Lakes final. This one was probably the most surprising of the three, considering this team hadn't won its district as 11-year-olds last summer.
"We made a great run," Jackson said. "We had a great summer. We were one game away. It would have been nice to make it. It's sad, but baseball will continue on for most of them."
Grosse Pointe pitcher Brennan Hill had a perfect game until two outs in the final innings. That's when Jack Beyl's double gave New Albany its first baserunner. Landon Gum followed with a walk before Hill struck out Cody Jackson — his ninth strikeout — to end New Albany's season.
"Our kids battled," Jackson said. "They played as hard as they could. That's all you can ask as a coach."
Hill also led the Michigan offense, which scored at least two runs in every inning and put up four in the second and third. He was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a 2-run home run. Jarren Purify was intentionally walked twice and scored three times. The one time he saw a pitch, he hit it far over the left-field fence.
As it had all summer, New Albany got great support from the community. Hundreds of New Albanians drove over two hours for the game and filled the Grand Park stands.
"I wish we could have put on a better show for them," Jackson said. "We really appreciate their support."
GREAT LAKES REGION
GROSSE POINTE (MICH.) 13, NEW ALBANY (IND.) 0
Grosse Pointe 344 2—13 8 0
New Albany 000 0— 0 1 3
W — Brennan Hill. L — Jack Beyl. 2B — Hill (GP), Jack Beyl (NA). HR — Jarren Purify (GP), Hill (GP).
Records — Grosse Pointe 4-0, New Albany 3-2.
GREAT LAKES REGION
At Westfield, Grand Park Sports Complex
Sunday, Aug. 5
Grosse Pointe Woods-Shore (Mich.) 7, Tri-Cities (Ill.) 2
New Albany (Ind.) 6, St. Matthews (Ky.) 1
WINNERS’ BRACKET SEMIFINALS
Monday, Aug. 6
Grosse Pointe (Mich.) 12, Wausau (Wis.) 2
New Albany (Ind.) 8, New Albany (Ohio) 5
ELIMINATION BRACKET QUARTERFINALS
Tuesday, Aug. 7
New Albany (Ohio) 4, Tri-Cities (Ill.) 0 (Tri-Cities eliminated)
St. Matthews (Ky.) 2, Wausau (Wis.) 1 (Wausau eliminated)
WINNERS’ BRACKET FINAL
Wednesday, Aug. 8
Grosse Pointe (Mich.) 14, New Albany (Ind.) 2
ELIMINATION BRACKET SEMIFINAL
Thursday, Aug. 9
New Albany (Ohio) 9, St. Matthews (Ky.) 1 (St. Matthews eliminated)
ELIMINATION BRACKET FINAL
Friday, Aug. 10
New Albany (Ind.) 8, New Albany (Ohio) 0 (New Albany (Ohio) eliminated)
GREAT LAKES CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday, Aug. 11
Grosse Pointe (Mich.) 13, New Albany (Ind.) 0 (Grosse Pointe advances to Little League World Series)