HASTINGS-The North Platte First National Bank Juniors ended Kearney's long run of dominance in Area 7 on Monday by winning a district elimination game 12-9.The Juniors (26-11) advance to Tuesday's district final where they will need to defeat Hastings (32-15) twice to make the state tournament.
Kearney (25-17) started out strong and they had a 7-0 lead after scoring five runs in the second inning. But the First Nationals roared back into it by scoring five themselves in the third. Then they followed it up by scoring six in the fourth to take the lead for good at 11-7.
North Platte finished their rivals off to end Kearney's season for the second straight year. Last year, the Nationals defeated Kearney in an elimination game in the state tournament.
Before losing in districts on Tuesday, Kearney had won the Area 7 Juniors Title every year since 2003.
Brendan Folk led North Platte both with his pitching and hitting. He threw six innings in the win and on offense, he had a team-high three RBIs. Kevin Hancock and Braiden Ruffin also had three hits in the victory.