A wild pitch paved the way for the NBS 16's to knot their game and reliever Dylan Williams of Cass preserved that tie in the 16U National Championship series being played in venues across North Georgia.
Luke Patterson of Woodland pitched 6 2/3 innings, Chaz Wilson of Cass shut the door on Bomber scoring in the final third of the sixth and Williams allowed no more runs in the Acworth-based team's 4-4 tie against the Florida Bombers.
"We would like to have started off with a win, but a tie at least keeps us in the hunt to win our pool," NBS head coach Jarrod Brown said. "If we can go 4-0 the rest of the week then we will have an opportunity to make the playoffs."
The NBS 16s feature four Bartow County players on their roster and Saturday three of them saw mound action.
"Luke threw really well to start the game, then a couple of balls bounced the wrong way and they had a couple of seeing-eye singles," Brown said.
Wilson came in the game in the sixth and kept the Bombers -- who had scored two runs in the frame already -- from adding to their total.
"Chad really did his job," Brown said. "Dylan then continued that by throwing well and preserving our tie."
The NBS 16's had started scoring in the third inning when Austin Walker of Marietta drew a walk to get on, then reached third after Patterson singled on a hit-and-run play. He and Patterson scored on a two-run-RBI-single by Patrick Smith of North Cobb High for a 2-0 lead.
The Bombers answered with two runs in the fourth and took a 4-2 lead in the sixth, getting just one hit but coaxing three walks from Patterson before Wilson ended the frame.
In the seventh, the NBS 16's Andrew Fisher of Riverwood drew a base on balls, advanced to third on a single by Williams and scored on a bunt by David Grindstaff, closing to 4-3.
Then a suicide-squeeze backfired after the NBS 16's batter failed to get the bunt down and it sailed weakly into the glove of the pitcher who promptly fired it to third before the runner could get back, notching two outs for the Florida team.
All was not lost, however, as a wild pitch by the Bombers to Walker allowed Grindstaff to score the NBS 16's final run, netting the 4-4 final score.
Brown said the tie could be big by tournament's end. "We could possibly have a No. 2 seed, and we'd make it into the playoffs with that."
Patterson pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up four hits and five walks. He struck out six. Wilson faced one batter, getting him out, and Williams did not give up a hit in his closing role, walking two and fanning one.
The games -- being played by more than 200 teams -- are being put on by Perfect Game and are showcasing North Georgia baseball players to any number of scouts from across the country. They have a two-hour, seven inning limit. Cass High is hosting five of NBS 16's games, which are scheduled through Wednesday.