After dropping its first game of the state tournament last Saturday, the Cartersville Junior Little League 14U baseball team has battled its way through three straight elimination games to reach the state championship round.
Cartersville defeated Athens Junior Little League 9-4 Wednesday night in West Point and will now face Elbert County for the state title. Cartersville must win twice Thursday. Elbert County only needs one more win in the double-elimination tournament.
It was Elbert County that topped Cartersville last Saturday 11-1. Since that loss, Cartersville has wins over Northern-Columbus 9-5, Hobgood 10-0, and Athens.
In addition to Cartersville, Elbert County has tournament wins over West Point 15-0 and Athens 14-2.
In Wednesday’s win over Athens, Cartersville led 2-0 after one inning before Athens knotted the score 2-2 in the top of the third. Cartersville plated three runs in their half of the third inning for a 5-2 advantage and would maintain their lead the rest of the way.
Athens narrowed the margin to 5-3 in the top of the fifth, but two more Cartersville runs in both the fifth and sixth innings provided a 9-3 lead. Athens scored a run in the top of the seventh but Cartersville pitcher Sawyer Wilson got a ground out and a strikeout to close out the game.
Geoffrey Gore (5.2 IP, 3R, 1ER, 1H, 5BB, 9K) started on the mound for Cartersville and picked up the pitching win. Wilson (1.1 IP, 1ER, 2H, 0BB, 3K) needed only 16 pitches to retire the final four outs.
Ayden Ray led the Cartersville offense with three hits including a double and two RBI. Gavin Shrewsbury finished with two hits and a pair of RBI and Gore added two hits.
Luke Altizer had a double and two RBI. Trenton Payne drove in a run with one hit. Colt Williams and Grant Knight added the other Cartersville base hits. Colin Genrich drove in a run with a groundout in the fifth inning.
Cartersville squares off with Elbert County Thursday at 6 p.m. with a second game to follow if needed.
The Georgia Junior Little League state champion advances to the Southeast Regional August 2-5 in Broadway, Virginia.
Little League results are provided to Bartow Sports Zone by Bartow County Little League and Cartersville Little League. The game data is shared by the leagues via GameChanger reports from the respective teams and/or leagues. GRPA tournament team results are also provided by the Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department and the Bartow County Parks and Recreation Department or the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association. Results and capsules are sponsored on Bartow Sports Zone by Play It Again Sports and CiCi's - Beyond Pizza, both located in the Cartersville Main Street - Cherokee Place Shopping Center