FORT WAYNE — Northwest Kekionga snagged the lead of a back-and-forth affair with a three-run bottom of the eighth.

A Rocket rally fell short in the ninth.

The Portland Rockets left the game-tying run on second base in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday as they fell 8-7 to host Northwest Kekionga.

In a back-and-forth game, Northwest Kekionga had a three-run lead and a two-run lead, with Portland (14-13) tying the score each time and then taking a 6-5 advantage in the top of the eighth inning. The home team, aided by three walks and an error, scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to pull ahead again.

Noah Collins’ one-out walk in the ninth inning followed by a Zach Orn single gave the Rockets a chance. Peyton Smith hit a grounder that scored Collins and pushed Orn to second base, but Joel Kennedy struck out to end the game.

Trever Sheets took the loss in relief as he gave up three runs — two earned — on one hit and three walks.

Will Butts paced the Portland offense with two hits, a walk and two RBIs. Orn had two hits and an RBI and Collins walked three times and scored twice.

Also adding hits for the Rockets were 2021 Jay County High School graduate Blake Caldwell, Hunter Kauser, Nick Bailey, Dakota Durick and Kennedy.