A big first inning propelled Juneau West to the Alaska District 2 Little League Major Baseball title Tuesday in Petersburg.
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Juneau West scored five runs and sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first en route to a 7-1 win over Ketchikan.
Kyle Gould drew a leadoff walk, Jackson Lehnhart singled and Ryan Kelly walked to set the table for Christian Gould. Juneau West's clean-up hitter delivered with a bases-clearing double to put his team up 3-0. Gould reached third on an error.
Marc Heifetz followed up with an RBI single to put Juneau West ahead 4-0. Heifetz increased Juneau West's advantage to 5-0 later that inning by scoring off of Tanner Petrie's fielder's choice.
The five-run cushion proved more than enough for Juneau West's pitchers and fielders.
Ryan Kelly, Christian Gould and Jeffrey Pusich combined to strike out 10 batters in six innings of work.
For more of Klas Stolpe's pictures from the tournament, check out spotted.juneauempire.com.
Ketchikan scored its lone run in the third inning as Brooke Simmons drew a bases-loaded walk.
Juneau West responded with a run in the fourth inning as Derek Brobst doubled and scored off Lehnhart's grounder.
Pusich put an exclamation point on Juneau West's eighth consecutive win with a solo home run in the fifth.
Ketchikan had numerous chances to cut into Juneau West's lead, but stranded 11 runners on base. Eight of those runners were in scoring position.
Up next for Juneau West will be the best-of-three Alaska State Little League Major Baseball Tournament against four-time defending champions Dimond-West from Anchorage. The state champion will represent Alaska in the Northwest Region championships in San Bernardino, Calif.
Game 1 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday in Petersburg.
Last year, Dimond-West won the state title and came within a win of becoming the first Alaska team to reach the Little League World Series. Dimond-West fell 5-4 to Beaverton, Ore., in extra innings in last year's Northwest Region final.
Contact the Juneau Empire sports department at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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