Georgia wins extra-inning thriller
Published 10:00 pm Monday, August 5, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They needed extra innings to make it happen, but the team Georgia all-stars remained unbeaten in the Dixie Youth Baseball 11-12-year-old World Series with a dramatic 2-0 victory over Alabama on Sunday night in Ruston, La.
Rob Skinner was brilliant on the mound, pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings before Logan Cammon got the final out for the save.
It was scoreless until Georgia pushed two runs across in the top of the seventh to take the lead.
Georgia played Louisiana in a winner’s bracket game on Monday night.
Regardless of the outcome of that game, Georgia will play again on Tuesday in the double-elimination tournament.
“That win was a total team win,” said Georgia head coach Ron Wilson said. “We had defensive plays being made, a great pitching performance, and we did the little things to get those runners over and get those two runs in and find a way to be able to beat a good team like that. It was like a championship-game atmosphere for sure.”
Skinner got the seventh-inning rally started with a walk, and Kaden Carlisle reached on a bunt single, with Skinner advancing to third on the play.
After Carlisle stole second, Landon Alsobrook broke the scoreless gridlock with an RBI groundout.
Luke Taylor, who hit an inside-the-park home run in Saturday’s 8-1 victory over Mississippi, then pushed the lead to 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Georgia was in position to win the game thanks largely to the pitching performance of Skinner, who kept putting zeroes on the scoreboard.
“It was huge, the pressure that he had to be under,” Wilson said. “But you couldn’t tell it by his body language.”
After Skinner left the game, Cammon came in and gave up a base hit before retiring the final batter on a groundout.
The player who made the final out won the home-run derby on Friday, so he was a legitimate threat to tie the game up with a long ball.
Alabama had its chances to break through.
At one point, Alabama had the bases loaded and no outs, but it was unable to score.
Georgia also had a handful of scoring opportunities before finally breaking through in the seventh inning.
Wilson talked with coach Auston Wilson about walking him, but they decided to go after him.
“He could have tied it with one swing of the bat,” Wilson said. “Auston asked me did we want to put him on, but I said let’s pitch to him, and don’t give him much to hit. That’s what we did. We pitched to location, and got him to groundout.”