Bartow County Junior Little League won the Georgia District 1 championship Monday night by completing a two-game sweep of Cartersville Junior Little League at Perry Park.
Bartow rallied for five runs in the sixth inning to edge Cartersville 5-4 after winning Sunday’s best-of-three series opener 7-5.
With their District 1 title, Bartow County advances to the Georgia Junior Little League State Tournament in Athens that begins Saturday, July 22.
Cartersville, behind a strong pitching performance by starter Ernie Cortez, held a 3-0 lead Monday night going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Charlie Hideaman drove in Cartersville’s first run with a single in the top of the third that scored Blake Sutton. Cartersville then took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Brady Jenkins doubled and later scored on a wild pitch.
In the top of the sixth, Trevor Montgomery gave Cartersville a 3-0 lead when he walked, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Jenkins sac fly.
Bartow’s decisive five-run bottom of the sixth came without benefit of a hit.
Five walks, an error, and three passed balls staked Bartow and pitcher T.J. Grimes to a 5-3 lead. The two run edge would prove to be enough with Cartersville adding only one more run in the top of the seventh. Cartersville's Sutton doubled and moved up to third on a throw before scoring on a Jackson Cline groundout, but that would be as close as they would get.
Grimes (2 IP, 2ER, 2H, 1BB, 3K) picked up the pitching win for Bartow County by closing out the final two frames in relief of starter Jayden Smith (5 IP, 2ER, 4H, 2BB, 4K). Smith worked the first five innings.
Jenkins (0.1 IP, 2R, 1ER, 0H, 3BB) suffered the pitching loss for Cartersville in relief of Cortez (5 IP, 3R, 2ER, 2H, 5BB, 5K). Montgomery (0.2 IP, 0R, 0H) recorded the final two outs in the sixth.
Jonah Cooper and Sutton led Cartersville at the plate with two hits including a double each. Jenkins (double, RBI) and Hideaman (RBI) had the other Cartersville base hits.
Grimes (2 RBIs) and Patrick Shelley had the only Bartow hits.
Athens Little League will host the Georgia Junior Little League State Tournament with games beginning Saturday, July 22.
Bartow Junior Little League roster: Isaac Linley, Bryce Richards, Alex Freeman, Jayden Smith, Jordan Gani, Patrick Shelley, Colin Eaton, T.J. Grimes, Jimbo Gaines, Trevor Collum, Nick Bailey, and Jordan Jonathan.
Bartow County Little League, Cartersville Little League, and Bartow County and Cartersville Recreation youth softball and baseball updates are provided by the respective leagues and recreation departments. Game results are sponsored on Bartow Sports Zone by Play It Again Sports - Cartersville - 410 Cherokee Place.