BAXTER SPRINGS — Tyler Garzone’s sacrifice fly with no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning plated Alex Johnston with the winning run as the Pittsburg 12u All Stars rallied for a 7-6 victory over Baxter Springs in the first game of the 2019 Kansas Little League State Championship series Tuesday.
With the win Pittsburg can now clinch the state championship by winning game two of the series against Baxter Springs Thursday at 6 p.m. Baxter needs a win Thursday to force a decisive game three Saturday.
Pittsburg jumped out to a 4-0 first inning lead. Noah Duncan had a two-run single as part of the early scoring burst.
Pittsburg led 5-1 after two innings of play, but Baxter Springs chipped away with five runs over the next three innings of play as the squad pulled in front, 6-5, in the top of the fifth inning.
Conner Proffitt and Johnston led off the seventh inning with back-to-back singles. Proffitt scored on a wild pitch and Johnston advanced to third to set up Garzone’s walk off shot.
Duncan, Johnston, Proffitt and Michael Westhoff all collected two hits in the contest. Johnston scored twice.
Duncan earned the win on the pitching mound by recording the final five outs. He walked one batter and registered three strikeouts. Garzone started on the mound, allowing three runs in three innings of work, while Carsen Nickelson tossed 1 1/3 innings of relief work.