SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Westen Fink allowed only four hits in a six-inning complete game victory as the Billings Heights National 11-12 Majors All-Stars won their first-round game, 1-0, over Alaska on Sunday at the Little League Northwest Regional here.
Sitka, the Alaska state champions, limited the Montana state champions to one hit — but Heights National was able to capitalize on the single hit.
Austin Pellersels led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a triple to right field and came home to score when Brady Baker hit into a fielder’s choice to give the Heights National team the walk-off victory.
“It was a good game,” Heights National manager DJ Smith told 406mtsports.com over the phone. “Obviously I wish our bats came alive a little more. I give a lot of credit to their pitcher, he threw a good game.
“Nonetheless with a W you have to be proud and happy for the boys and their efforts.”
With the win, Heights National will now advance to play Salem, Oregon, at 8 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Monday.
“The plan is just like the plan was today,” Smith said. “All the teams that get to this level are talented teams.”
The game was a pitcher’s duel and both teams played sound defense as each only committed one error.
Fink struck out nine batters and did not issue a walk.
Alaska starting pitcher Chance Coleman pitched 4 2/3 innings and did not give up a hit. He struck out nine and walked two. Alaska’s Bryce Calhoun pitched 1/3 of an inning in relief and gave up one hit and one earned run. He struck out one and did not walk a batter.
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“Westen Fink threw an incredible game and I was pretty proud of him,” Smith said. “He did his job and thankfully we did our job.”
Leadoff batter Chance Coleman was 3 for 3 for Alaska, with three singles.
Both teams left six runners on base.
In the day’s first game, Bothell, Washington, defeated Gillette, Wyoming, 14-2.
Both Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Salem, Oregon, received first-round byes. Bothell will play Coeur d’Alene at 10 a.m. Mountain time on Monday. Both of the games on Monday can be streamed on ESPN+.
Wyoming and Alaska will play in elimination games on Tuesday. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10.
The regional champion will advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Aug. 15-25.
Smith said the Heights National team, which is comprised of 13 players, has been enjoying its time in San Bernardino.
“This is a splendid place,” he said. “All the boys have seen this place on TV and YouTube, but to be out here and experience it and watch all the fans and the camaraderie. … It’s everything you want for youth sports.”