INDIANAPOLIS — Opposing pitchers struggle finding the strike zone for 4-foot-10, 85-pound Devin Jenkins.

His performance Friday in the Great Lakes Little League Regional could force those pitchers to stop trying to throw strikes to the diminutive reserve.

Jenkins came off the bench and went 1-for-3, including a grand slam in the sixth, to help lead the New Albany 11-12 All-Stars to a 17-1 victory over Wausau (Wis.) Northern.

“It was so weird because I’ve never done that before,” Jenkins said. “I was smiling the whole way around the bases.”

It marked more than just his first grand slam. It was the first time he hit any ball over an outfield fence.

“I just hit it, a perfect swing right on the right spot,” he said.

New Albany (2-0) has shown a preference for waiting until the latter innings to score its runs. It scored five in the sixth on Thursday to open the tournament and plated 14 in the final two innings against Wausau.

Garrett Sherrell gave New Albany a 2-0 lead in the first with a home run that scored Logan Streigel, while Zach Worrall scored in the third. It then added five runs in the fifth and nine in the sixth, during which it used 14 batters and had seven hits.

“Why do we have to wait until fifth and sixth before we decide we’re going to start to hit the ball?” manager John Worrall jokingly asked his players after the game. “It would be nice to do it in the first and second.”

New Albany finished with 18 hits, including four that went for extra bases: Jenkins and Sherrell’s home runs and doubles from Zach Worrall and Brett Medley.

Medley was one of the team’s three substitutes who provided much of the offense. Jenkins, Medley and Trevor Brown filled in the bottom third of the order and went a combined 6-for-9 while driving in five runs and scoring six times.

Despite suggesting he struggled, Sherrell gave up three hits, struck out seven and walked one in a complete-game performance. His roughest, but most telling inning, came in the third. Wausau benefited from a walk and a hit batter to score its only run.

Still, despite holding a thin 3-1 lead after the third, Sherrell said he felt good about his team’s chances.

“I thought we had it under control,” he said. “About the third inning, I thought we had it.”

New Albany gets the weekend off and returns Monday, when it faces West Side Little League from Hamilton, Ohio, at 7:30 p.m.

A victory would assure a spot in the four-team playoffs for New Albany. The top four squads in the six-team regional advance to the semifinals on Thursday and by opening with two victories, the Indiana state champions are in a good position to make the playoffs

“That’s what we wanted to do,” Worrall said. “We can sit back and relax for a couple of days and watch everybody else.”

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