It was a no-lose situation for the Daniel Boone Little League National team and coach Craig Brumfield.
Brumfield's team knew it would be playing in the Little League Baseball Midwest Regional semifinals before its game Wednesday night against the South Dakota state champions, Harney Little League of Rapid City.
If the team from Columbia won, it would be the third seed in the four-team semifinal round. If it lost, it would be the fourth seed.
Brumfield's team, without the pressure of needing to win the game, got off to a hot start in the first inning. The Daniel Boone Little League team scored three runs in the inning, chasing South Dakota starting pitcher Cody Clarkson from the game.
But the lead would not hold. South Dakota's third, fourth and fifth innings plated a total of eight runs. Going into the top of the sixth and final inning, Brumfield's team trailed 8-3.
In the top of the sixth, Connor Brumfield hit a three-run home run to cut the deficit to two runs. Connor Brumfield, the coach's son, is leading all Midwest Regional players with an .846 batting average. He has 11 hits in 13 at bats during pool play.
The Daniel Boone Little League was able to score one more run before pitcher Tucker Berg closed out the game with the bases loaded.
"Even though we knew we were in the semifinals before the game started, it was a game we would have really liked to win," Craig Brumfield said by phone Wednesday night from Indianapolis. "Even though we didn't, all our goals are still intact. Even though we are limping into the semifinals, we still think we can do it."
Brumfield's team will play the tournament's No. 1 seed, Nebraska, on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. If they win, they will play Saturday for a chance to go to the Little League World Series. The Saturday game will be televised on ESPN.