The North Platte First National Bank Juniors played a solid all-around game on Saturday to beat Twin Cities 8-2 to advance in the district tournament at Bill Wood Field.
"It's a really big win," said Juniors coach Adam Sterup. "We don't have the best record against Twin Cities. But I love how we came out and played well."
The First Nationals got it started in the bottom of the first inning. Alex Harms scored the first run with a one-out single to left field off of Express pitcher Jackson Hinze. Then Ty Brockmoller reached base on third baseman Joe Lofing's throwing error to first base, which scored two runs and made it 3-0.
Grayson Flanders then finished off the inning by executing a sacrifice fly to left, scoring another run and making it 4-0.
"That was great to jump out early like that," Sterup said. "We haven't done that all year."
Twin Cities scored in the top of the third with a one-out sac fly to right by Matt Mickey. But North Platte got the run back when Dalton Pflughaupt reached on another throwing error by Lofing.
Then in the fifth inning, the First Nationals scored another run when Bradey Anderson hit a single into left field, making it 6-1. Then in the sixth, North Platte scored two more runs to go into Twin Cities' last half inning.
Pitcher Ty Brockmoller ran into some trouble in the seventh but he only gave up one run and the Nationals held on to get the win.
"Ty did a great job," said Sterup. "He's been limited by his knee injury, so he hasn't had a lot of time on the hill. But he threw strikes and he was consistent."
On Sunday night, North Platte will play Hastings in the Area 7 semifinals. The First Nationals lost both games that they played against Hastings in the regular season. But Sterup says his team definitely has a lot of momentum after the win over Twin Cities on Saturday.
"It's obviously a big game," Sterup said. "They beat us badly in the two games before but we didn't play our best on that night. Hopefully, we continue to play well and we can take them down."