Spencer Henson homered on the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning Saturday to propel the Mat-Su Miners past the Anchorage Bucs in the first game of the Top of the World Series.
Henson's big swing gave the Miners a 1-0 victory at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.
The second game of the best-of-3 Alaska Baseball League championship series begins at 4 p.m. Sunday at Hermon Brothers.
Henson's home run, his eighth of the ABL season, scarred an otherwise brilliant job by Bucs starter Adam Seminaris. The lefthander from Long Beach State scattered five hits, struck out four and walked one in eight innings.
Mat-Su (30-17 on the season, including playoffs), which is vying for a third straight ABL championship, used three pitchers to shut out the Bucs (27-20).
Asa Lacy struck out nine, walked four and gave up five hits in seven innings to earn the victory. Relievers Malachi Emond and Bryce Tassin both threw 1-2-3 innings to preserve the shutout.
Both teams reached the Top of the World Series by sweeping their semifinal opponents. The Bucs topped the Peninsula Oilers in a best-of-3 series in Anchorage, and the Miners beat the Chugiak Chinooks in two games in Palmer.
If the Bucs win Sunday, they will force a third game, it is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in Palmer.