WESTFIELD, Ind.—A late rally fell just short for the Webb City 12-and-under Little League baseball team.
Johnston (Iowa) took an early lead and held on late for a 2-1 victory over Webb City on Saturday in an opening-round contest of the Little League Midwest Regional baseball tournament at Grand Park Sports Campus.
With the setback, Webb City will face Pittsburg at 3 p.m. Monday in a losers' bracket game that will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Johnston scored twice in the bottom of the first inning against Webb City starting pitcher Luke Beverlin.
Andrew Johannsen hit a leadoff double to left, Will Nuss reached on an error and Max Mincks was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Next, cleanup hitter Mitch Naig delivered a two-run single to center field.
From there, both pitching staffs kept the opposition at bay until Webb City got on the board in the top of the sixth.
With the team down to its final two outs, Beverlin doubled to right and then Derrick Wagner followed with an RBI double to right to cut the team’s deficit in half.
Webb City threatened to tie or take the lead, as Brody Eggleston walked to put two runners on base. But Johnston’s Naig struck out the next two batters to end the game.
Both teams managed just three hits.
Andrew Young, Beverlin and Wagner had one hit apiece for Webb City, which is making its fifth consecutive regional appearance.
Naig went 2-for-2 with two RBI for the Iowa state champs, while Johnannsen added one hit.
Beverlin was charged with the loss. He went two innings, gave up two runs on two hits and struck out three.
Webb City’s Landon Fletcher tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, striking out five and allowing just one hit. Young struck out the only batter he faced.
Johnston’s Will Nuss struck out 13 and allowed just one hit in 5 1/3 innings to earn the victory. Naig struck out both batters he faced to pick up the save.
Little League Midwest Regional
At Westfield, Ind.
Coon Rapids, Minn. 15, Kearney, Neb. 7
Johnston, Iowa 2, Webb City 1
Fargo, N.D. 8, Pittsburg 0
Rapid City, S.D., vs. Coon Rapids, Minn., 3 p.m.
Johnston, Iowa, vs. Fargo, N.D., 6 p.m.
Webb City vs. Pittsburg, 3 p.m.