Back Mountain American had to battle to the end to defeat Bob Horlacher, 11-6, in the District 31 Little League Major division winners bracket final.
American, the defending champion, was scheduled to play at home Friday against the team that emerges from the elimination bracket and can win the title with a victory.
Horlacher was set to host the leimination bracket final Wednesday, playing Northwest.
American lead-off hitter Michael Luksic hit the second pitch he saw over the left-field fence as part of his 4-for-4 day. Ethan Zawatski followed and did the same, swatting the second offering over the right-center fence. The hits were part of a four-run first for American.
Horlacher clawed back within 6-2 in the bottom of the second, using American errors and an RBI single by Tyler Faux to score the runs. But again, American struck for four runs, this time in the fourth.
Luksic had an RBI double, Derek Answini had an RBI single and Dalton Simpson knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, pushing American’s lead to 10-2.
Horlacher roared right back with four runs of its own, cutting the deficit to 10-6. Mike Lee drove in two runs with a single and Cole Coolbaugh brought in another with a groundout. Horlacher, though, couldn’t get the offense going in the last two innings. It was retired in order in the sixth, the only time all game either team went 1-2-3.