WACO, Texas – The Eastdale Major All-Stars, state Little League champions, defeated Pine Bluff (Ark.) Western 13-8 in nine innings Friday in the first game of the eight-team Southwestern Regional tournament.
New Mexico scored nine runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 4-4 tie on the strength of two homers by Trent Kiraly and one by Barrett Haemker.
Eastdale took a 1-0 lead in the third on a homer by Chase Weissenborn and added three runs in the fourth for a 4-0 lead. But Arkansas scored four in the bottom of the sixth to tie when Tyler Brown hit a three-run triple with one out and promptly stole home.
In the top of the ninth, Kiraly hit the first of his two homers to give New Mexico a 6-4 lead. Haemker added a three-run homer and Kiraly hit another two-run homer to build the edge to 13-4 before Arkansas made it closer.
New Mexico will face Biloxi, Miss. – a 2-1 winner Friday over North Boulder, Colo. – at 4 p.m. MDT today in the second of its three games in Pool A play. The other team in Eastdale’s pool is Colorado. Pool B has East Texas, West Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. The top two teams in each pool in round-robin pool play advance to the semifinals Tuesday.