The Cartersville Little League 9-and-under tournament team came up one run short in their quest for the Georgia Little League Northwest Sectional championship.
The 9U Canes lost 6-5 to Smyrna Little League Blue in the tournament finals Tuesday night.
Cartersville scored single runs in each of the first two innings and added three more in the top of the third to take the early lead.
“We put the ball in play and took a 5-1 lead against Smyrna, but we made too many errors on defense after taking that lead,” said Cartersville manager Daniel Knight.
Smyrna answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third and hit a homerun in the fourth for the winning margin.
“They cut the lead to 5-4, but then we settled down,” Knight added. “We had two outs and two strikes on the hitter when the Smyrna kid hit that 2-run homer. It skipped off the top of the fence and we just were not able to bounce back.”
Joseph Womack had two hits and an RBI for Cartersville in the championship game.
Hayden James (RBI), Caleb Daniel, Miles Owens (RBI), Gavin Shrewsbury, and Ayden Ray had the other Cartersville hits.
Owens pitched the first four innings for Cartersville in the finals and suffered the loss. He yielded only two earned runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out five.
Womack worked a scoreless inning in relief.
Cartersville 9U won its first two games of the tournament to reach the finals.
The 9U Canes beat Murphey Candler Little League 13-3 last Saturday and Smyrna Little League Blue 13-8 Sunday, before the one-run loss in the finals.
James had three hits including a double with an RBI and 3 runs scored against Murphey Candler. Owens added a pair of hits with an RBI and three runs scored. Daniel, Shrewsbury, Nicholas Hruby, Ray, Coby Barrett, and Turner Abernathy also had hits in the 11-hit attack.
Owens, Womack, Daniel, and James all pitched against Murphey Candler. Owens whiffed five in 2.1 innings of work. The other three Cartersville pitchers worked 1.1 or less and each recorded a strikeout.
The 9U Canes struck for 13 runs on 12 hits in the first matchup with Smyrna.
Owens had three RBIs on three hits to lead the offense. Caleb Daniel (RBI) and Nicholas Hruby added a pair of hits each in the 13-8 win.
Shrewsberry (RBI), Abernathy, Womack, Andrew Stiles, and Grant Knight had one hit each for the locals. Coby Barrett chipped in with an RBI.
Daniel, Womack, and James pulled the pitching duties in the initial meeting with Smyrna.
The team will next prepare for the GRPA tournament in Dalton.
“We will be playing 10-and-under teams in that tournament, so we will have to play well,” noted Knight.
“Our boys will be up to the challenge,” the Cartersville manager concluded.
Members of the Cartersville Little League 9U team include: Joseph Womack, Hayden James, Miles Owens, Gavin Shrewsbury, Nicholas Hruby, Ayden Ray, Caleb Daniel, Grant Knight, Andrew Stiles, Coby Barrett, Conner Stermer, and Turner Abernathy.
Assistant coaches include Richard Daniel, Justin James, and Carl Abernathy.