Cartersville 10U Purple wins GRPA District 5 championship

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Cartersville 10U Purple used extra base hits on offense and a solid pitching start from Trip Bradley to hold off Cartersville 9U Gray 9-5 in the championship game of the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association District 5 tournament Tuesday night (June 23) in Ellijay. Although Bradley fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first, neither of the runs were earned. Over the next three innings, he tossed shutout baseball and put his team in position to win. Bradley allowed only four hits and a pair of walks in four innings of work. He struck out five to earn the pitching victory. Will Litton tossed an inning and 2/3 for the winners and Thomas Norris was called upon for the final out in the sixth. Cartersville Gray, who defeated Cartersville White earlier in the evening to qualify for the championship game, scored twice in the top of the first to take the initial lead. Cartersville Gray had three baserunners to reach as a result of a pair of errors and a fielder's choice before Joseph Womack's single. In the bottom of the first, Cartersville Purple returned the favor and scored three times. Five consecutive hits at the top of the order gave Purple a lead they would not relinquish. JaKiyon Porter, Paul Gamble, Bradley, and Hunter Kelly each singled, then A.J. Christina doubled to generate the three run inning. Both teams' pitching controlled the second and third frames, but Cartersville Purple tallied three more runs in the bottom of the fourth on three walks and a pair of hits. A walk by Avery Higgins was followed by a sacrifice by Norris. Litton then singled followed by two more walks to Brice Craig and Nicholas Kennedy. That set up the big blow -- a two-run double by Porter to give Purple a 6-2 lead. Cartersville Gray narrowed the margin to 6-4 in the top of the fifth. Caleb Daniel doubled, then Gray took advantage of two more Purple errors and a walk to plate their runs. Cartersville Purple then effectively put the game away in the bottom of the fifth with three more runs to take a 9-4 advantage. The rally was highlighted by a pair of triples from Christina and Craig. Cartersville Gray scored the game's final run in the top of the six. Grant Knight walked, then later scored on a bases loaded walk. Cartersville Gray utilized five different pitchers in the title game. Miles Owen, Womack, Hayden James, Coby Barrett, and Daniel all worked on the bump for the Gray team. They collectively walked six and struck out five, yielding nine earned runs on eleven hits. James, Daniel, Womack, and Nicholas Hruby each had hits for Cartersville Gray. Womack had three RBI. Cartersville Purple was led on offense by Porter (2 RBI), Bradley, and Christina (RBI) with two hits apiece. Gamble, Kelly (RBI), Higgins (RBI), Litton (RBI), and Craig (RBI) added one hit each.

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