Bartow will take on the winner of today’s 6 p.m. matchup, which features Powder Springs and Paulding County.
Meanwhile, Rome awaits the last team standing out of the losers’ bracket after erasing an early deficit to Bartow.
Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning, the Green Jackets had their first three batters — Avery Allen, Cade Smith Truett Bowman — reach base. Bowman hit a fielder’s choice to shortstop, but Smith — who singled to get on — slid into second base safely, nullifying a potential out.
The Blue recorded an out on the next fielder’s choice, but Will Saunder’s subsequent grounder gave Rome its first run.
After back-to-back errors, the Green Jackets led 4-3 before Payton Morrow’s RBI single gave them a two-run lead at the end of two innings.
In the third, Rome threatened to blow the game wide open — much to the delight of its raucous crowd. The Green Jackets sent six baserunners across the plate as Darien Poellnite’s two-run single and another run-scoring hit from Morrow helped them get out to a huge 11-3 cushion.
Bartow clawed back for one of those runs in the fourth courtesy of a Rome error.
The Blue then held the Green Jackets to a scoreless fourth, allowing it to continue working on the seven-run lead.
Bartow’s Maddox Teems opened the fifth with a leadoff double as did Grayson Bagwell. Will Womack’s RBI single made it 11-5. Pinch hitter Devon Issac added another run with his single as the Blue looked primed to force the game to go the full six innings.
That possibility never came into play, however, as the Green Jackets once again put up a five spot.
Zucker Campbell, pinch hitting for Poellnite, drew a walk to begin the bottom of the fifth.
Following a single by Saunders, Rome had two runners on base. Brady Malone also walked to load the bases for the Green Jackets.
With Bartow’s outfield playing in — a shade or two off the infield — Rome’s Cam Jones delivered a devastating blow as the left-hander drove a three-run triple to left field for a 14-6 Green Jackets’ lead.
The next batter up, Trevon Wofford, battled the Blue’s Teems, fighting off a few foul pitches before plating Jones — Rome’s 15th run — with a single to right.
Wofford advanced to second base, losing his shoe in the midst of his stolen base.
Jose Arias followed up with his first hit of the night.
With Bartow’s only real hope to record three outs coming via the forceout, Blue coach Greg Hight elected to intentionally walk Rafael Nunez to pack the bases full of Green Jackets.
Bartow responded by recording its first out on a throw to home plate.
Still needing two more outs, the Blue watched as Rome’s Jessie Kirkpatrick came to the plate.
Kirkpatrick came through for the Green Jackets, knocking in the game’s final run with his walkoff double and advancing Rome to the championship.
Hight said his team must improve defensively if it hopes to meet Rome — which it would have to beat twice — for Wednesday’s championship game.
“We gotta play defense,” he said. “We’re still hitting the ball as well as anybody out there. We gotta make the plays defensively.”
The Blue got out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second with Womack’s RBI double scoring the first run followed by run-scoring groundouts from Tyler Hendon and Clay Burt.
Bartow plays today at 8 p.m.