WESTFIELD, Ind. — An emotional roller coaster during the late innings ended on a high for Webb City.
After seeing a two-run lead disappear in the bottom of the sixth inning, Webb City responded with four runs in the seventh and upended Fargo, North Dakota, 6-3 on Wednesday morning in the Little League Baseball Midwest Regional at Grand Park Sports Complex.
Derrick Wagner delivered the big hit with a two-run triple in the seventh as Webb City won its third elimination game in as many days.
Webb City has a day off today before playing in the losers’ bracket final at 10 a.m. Friday against the loser of today’s game between Johnston, Iowa, and Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Webb City’s game on Friday will be televised on ESPN.
Webb City, which lost its regional opener 2-1 to Johnston, scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 2-0 lead against Fargo. Webb City starting pitcher Luke Beverlin struck out eight batters, walked two and allowed five hits in 4 1/3 scoreless innings before reliever Jackson Pickett registered the last two outs of the fifth on a line drive and fly ball.
However, Fargo used two walks and an error to load the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth. Alex Christopherson bunted and was out at first as Andrew O’Neill scored to make it 2-1. Caleb Briggeman beat out an infield hit to score Cye Hassler with the tying run, and an error on the play left runners at second and third with only one out.
But reliever Cohen Epler struck out the next two batters — both on called third strikes — to send the game to extra innings.
Webb City quickly loaded the bases to start the seventh as Hudson Byrd reached on an error, Andrew Young was safe on a bunt and Epler singled to center.
Byrd scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball, and one out later, Wagner hit a 3-1 pitch for his triple to center field to score Young and Epler. Wagner later scored on Brock Renfro’s two-out single to right.
Singles by Colby Hanson and Gunner Magerus produced a run for Fargo in the bottom of the seventh before Epler got the last out on a grounder to third baseman Renfro.
Webb City took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Wagner reached third base on an outfield error and scored on a wild pitch.
In the fifth Young singled to left, stole second and scored on Epler’s single to center to make it 2-0.
Epler went 3-for-3 to lead Webb City’s eight hit attack, and he struck out three batters in the last two innings.
Webb City also received one hit from Young, Wagner, Pickett, Aidan Streight and Renfro.
Magerus had two hits for Fargo, which also had eight hits. Starting pitcher Matthew Bryant yielded five hits and two runs in five innings, struck out eight batters and walked two.