Western closes out district series

WHITE HALL — Playing late into Thursday night, Pine Bluff Western found a way to get the job done.

Shortly after White Hall forced a third game, Western took advantage of big hits from Daniel Koonce and Randy Little and escaped with a 6-5 victory to win the Little League 11- and 12-year-old district series. Western earned the top seed for the state tournament, which will also be held at White Hall City Park starting next Friday.

White Hall will play in state as a second seed.

Western won the opening game Tuesday but suffered a 10-0 defeat earlier Thursday evening. The Pine Bluff team responded in a big way from the onset after that.

Koonce drove in three runs on a double in the first inning, but White Hall came back with a grand-slam home run from Spencer Smith in the second. Little’s two-run single in the third put Western back in front 5-4, and Austin Weatherford stole home plate in the fourth to make it 6-4.

White Hall mustered another run when Matt Rush’s single drove in Colby Donaldson in the fifth, but Western held on for the championship.

Weatherford picked up the victory on the mound.