A little rest over the weekend went a long way for the West Flagstaff Little League Black Diamondbacks. So did a couple hits.
James Pena, Ethan Gappa both hit home runs in the bottom of the second inning to give No. 1-seeded Black a comfortable lead it would not relinquish on the way to a 6-2 win over the No. 2 Continental Little League Red D-backs on Dawson Field Monday.
Pena opened the frame with a shot to center field, and after Paul Povlsen reached on a bunt single, Gappa made it 3-0, powering Black into the losers bracket semifinals while knocking the final CLL team from the tournament.
Black will face WFLL Brick for a second time in the tourney, after the latter knocked the former into the losers bracket on Thursday. Their Tuesday game is set for 6 p.m. on Dawson Field.
Chase Brown also connected for extra bases to power in some runs, finishing the day 1 for 3 with two RBIs. His double came in the bottom of the second as well.
Brown pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits while striking out five batters and walking four.
Brick started to figure out Brown in the top of the fourth when Steve Stone led off with a double and scored on a Travis Gates RBI single. In a jam, Stone got some help with a 6-4-3 double play as Gates scored.
Pena went 2 for 3 and William Carpenter was 1 for 2 with a run scored. Carpenter closed out the game on the mound for Black, which tagged on one more run in the bottom of the fifth on an error.
Stone pitched a complete game for Red, the hosting league's last chance at stopping WFLL from repeating as city champs. He allowed five earned runs on nine hits, recorded nine strikeouts and issued four walks.