James' five hits includes walk-off as Cartersville LL 10U wins in extra innings
Cartersville Little League 10U has played some of its best baseball this summer with its “back to the wall.”
Sunday night at the Tournament of State Champions in Greenville, NC, the youthful Canes did it again by rallying from a 10-3 deficit in the fifth inning to win 14-13 over South Durham, NC Little League in extra innings.
Cartersville, who fell to the loser’s bracket and won the Georgia state title by surviving three consecutive elimination games one week ago, tied the game Sunday with 10 runs in their final two frames. The locals then won it with a Hayden James walk off single to right field that scored Turner Abernathy in the bottom of the seventh.
With the game tied 13-all, Abernathy singled to center field with one out to get Cartersville’s seventh inning started. Joseph Womack followed with an infield single and the two runners moved up a base on a groundout by Nicholas Hruby. James then delivered the game-winning hit with two outs.
The victory keeps Cartersville 10U in contention for single-elimination bracket play that begins on Tuesday.
Cartersville, now 1-1 in the tournament, must defeat Goodlettsville, Tennessee Monday at 12:45pm to advance to the championship bracket. Only teams with winning records in pool play advance to the bracket.
Goodlettsville is 0-2 in two pool games. The Tennessee representatives have losses to Loudon County, Virginia and McCalla, Alabama. Cartersville lost Saturday to Northwood Little League of Taylors, South Carolina.
Cartersville 10U playing as the home team Sunday fell behind 5-0 before scoring three runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Gavin Shrewsbury and Womack singled and Abernathy reached on a walk to get the frame started. Easton Elrod, a special runner for Shrewsbury, scored on an error following Womack’s hit. Hruby grounded out to drive in Abernathy, and Womack scored on a James RBI single to make the score 5-3.
North Carolina pushed their lead to 10-3 with five runs in the top of the fifth, but Cartersville matched them with a five-spot of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Shrewsbury and Connor Brasfield hit back-to-back solo homeruns to start Cartersville’s fifth. Abernathy was then hit by a pitch and Womack was safe on an infield error to continue the Canes’ rally.
Coby Barrett, a special runner for Abernathy, scored on a ground out by Hruby to make the score 10-6 before James doubled home Womack and later scored after a pair of wild pitches to cut the North Carolina lead to 10-8.
South Durham pushed their lead to 13-8 in the top of the sixth, but Cartersville would rally again.
Brasfield led off the bottom of the sixth with his second solo homer that made the score 13-9.
Womack and Hruby coaxed walks and scored following a James single. Caleb Daniel delivered an RBI double and Ayden Ray sent the game to extra innings with a two-out double that scored Daniel.
Cartersville utilized four different pitchers to nail down the victory.
Shrewsbury (1.2 IP, 0R, 1H, 1K) picked up the pitching win. Miles Owen (3.1 IP, 5R, 4ER, 3H, 2BB, 4K) was the Cartersville starter on the mound. Brasfield (1 IP, 4ER, 4H, 0BB) and Daniel (1 IP, 4R, 2ER, 3H, 0BB) also saw time on the bump for the Canes.
James went 5-for-6 with four RBIs and two runs scored at the top of the Cartersville order. Daniel was 4-for-4 with a walk, scored a run, and drove in one run. Brasfield (2 RBI), Shrewsbury (RBI), and Womack finished with two hits each. Abernathy, Elrod, Ray (RBI), and Owen each added a hit in the Canes’ 19-hit attack.
The 10U Tournament of State Champions continues through Wednesday at Elm Street Park in Greenville, NC.