The North Platte First National Bank Juniors finished their weekend tournament Sunday with a 9-4 victory over Alliance.
Alliance was the first to establish themselves. In the first inning, Joel Garza reached on an error by third baseman Tyler Tobey to score the first run of the game. Jakob Callan then brought in another run by grounding into a fielder’s choice and then it became 3-0 when Mario Garza reached on an error by shortstop Derrick Kuhlmann.
“We started out slow, we made some errors that shouldn’t happen,” Juniors coach Jace Barker said.
The First Nationals (10-1) answered back in the bottom of the first. Their first run scored on Tobey’s sacrifice fly ball to center field. Then with two outs, Bryce Butterfield tripled to right to cut the deficit to 3-2.
North Platte overtook Alliance in the second. With one out, Jeremiah Seamann singled to center to tie the game. Seamann then tried to steal second base and pitcher Kellon Muhr was called for a balk trying to pick him off, which forced in another run and put the Nationals on top.
Tobey then scored another run when he grounded into a fielder’s choice and it became 5-3.
The First Nationals added to the lead in each of the next two innings. In the third, Will Coe hit a two-out single that made it 6-3 and in the fourth, Kuhlmann was hit by Muhr’s pitch with the bases loaded for a four-run lead.
North Platte got more breathing room in the sixth after Mario Garza relieved Muhr. A run scored on a wild pitch and then Muhr, who moved to third base, overthrew catcher Joel Garza to allow Cody Wright to score.
In the seventh, pitcher Blake Barner got the first two outs before Carter Kelley came in. Alliance scored a run but that was it as Kelley struck out the last batter to finish the game.
“I thought the kids played well,” Barker said. “They just made some plays. It was nice to get a good game in, rather than just blowing them out.”