Pitchers Ayden Ray and Grant Knight combined for a five-inning, no-hitter Tuesday night, as the Cartersville Junior Little League 14U baseball team blanked Hobgood 10-0 in an elimination game of the Georgia Little League Junior League state tournament in West Point.
With the win, Cartersville is now one of only three teams remaining in the double-elimination tournament that began last Saturday and will conclude Thursday.
Cartersville 14U, now 2-1 in the tournament and 2-0 in elimination games, played Athens Junior Little League Wednesday night for the right to play Elbert County Junior Little League in the championship round Thursday night.
Elbert has not lost in the tournament and handed Cartersville and Athens their losses. Elbert topped Cartersville in Saturday’s opener 11-1 and beat Athens Tuesday night, 14-2.
The two Cartersville pitchers were dominant in Tuesday night’s win. Hobgood did not advance a baserunner beyond second base.
Ray (1.2 IP, 0R, 0H, 1BB, 6K) opened on the mound and struck out six of the seven batters he faced. One batter reached first base on a dropped third strike, and Ray walked one. Knight (3.1 IP, 0R, 0H, 2BB, 7K) entered with two outs in the second inning and fanned seven of the 12 batters he faced.
Meanwhile, the Cartersville 14U offense produced 10 runs on 11 hits.
Cartersville took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, added five runs in the third and tacked on four more in the fifth for the run-rule victory.
Luke Altizer paced the Cartersville attack with a pair of RBI singles. His hit in the second inning gave Cartersville their first run. His hit in the third inning put the locals up 5-0. Gavin Shrewsbury had two hits including an RBI single in the third inning and Colin Genrich finished with a pair of hits.
Colt Williams tripled and later scored to lead off the Cartersville third inning. Ray had a third-inning RBI double. Trenton Payne and Knight added one hit apiece.
The Georgia Junior Little League state champion will advance to the Junior Baseball Regional tournament Aug. 2-5 in Broadway, Virginia.
Cartersville 11U places 4th
A final-inning rally came up short Tuesday afternoon for the Cartersville Little League 11U team, as an 8-4 loss to Northern Columbus eliminated the local squad from the double-elimination Georgia Little League 11U state tournament in Savannah.
Cartersville finished fourth in the tournament, suffering both losses to Northern. Northern defeated Cartersville 10-0 in Saturday’s first round. Cartersville reached the rematch by defeating Martinez-Evans 8-7 Sunday and East Marietta 11-1 Monday.
In Tuesday’s second meeting, Northern raced to a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and led 7-1 after two frames. After two scoreless innings, Northern added a run in the fifth to take an 8-1 lead.
Cartersville scored three runs and had the potential tying run at the plate in their final frame with only one out, but a strikeout and a lineout ended the contest.
Cartersville was outhit by Northern in Tuesday’s game 13 to 2. Bear McWhorter had a two-run double in the sixth inning. Brayden Channell doubled to lead off Cartersville’s second inning and eventually scored a run. Logan Buchanan and Kamdyn Woods contributed one RBI each.
Asa Mitcham started on the mound for Cartersville and was tagged with the loss. Channell completed the game in relief.
Bartow softball teams eliminated at state
Bartow County 10U was eliminated by Hart County, 7-0, at the Georgia Little League 10U state softball tournament July 8 in Augusta.
Hart County scored four runs in the first inning and three more in the second on its way to the shutout in an elimination game of the double-elimination tournament.
Bartow County finished the tournament with a 1-2 record. Their other loss was 4-0 to Harris County in the opening round. The Bartow win came over West Point on Sunday, 7-2.
In Monday night’s loss, Bartow managed only three hits — two by Carley Aspenwall and one from Allana Williams. The locals managed to get baserunners to third in both of the first two frames, but Hart County pitching shut down the scoring effort each time.
In other state tournament softball action, Bartow County 12U lost two straight games at their state tournament.
Bartow lost Saturday’s opener to Harris County, 12-3, and fell again Sunday to West Point, 11-1.
Cartersville 10U winless in Athens
Elbert County raced to an early 11-1 lead over Cartersville Little League baseball 10U and held off the local team for a 16-12 win at the Georgia 10U Little League state tournament July 7 in Athens.
The loss was a second straight for Cartersville 10U and eliminated them from the double-elimination tournament. Cartersville dropped its opener to Northern-Columbus Saturday.
Down by 10 runs Sunday afternoon, Cartersville 10U threatened with a nine-run fourth inning to narrow the margin to 11-10. However, Elbert County scored a single run in the fifth and four more in the sixth to build a 16-10 lead. Cartersville scored twice in their half of the final frame and had the bases loaded before a final groundout ended the threat.
Blake Lutjens paced the Cartersville offense with a pair of hits and two RBIs. Devon Beavers drove in three runs — two with a fourth-inning single and another with a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. Zachary Stiles pushed two runs across, with a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning and an RBI single in the sixth.
Cole Henson, Clint Hosea, Cash Priest and Dixon Lindsey had one hit each for Cartersville. Dallen Fuqua was credited with one RBI.