WRALL team advances to 7-8 state final

awoolen@macon.comJune 22, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- The 7-and-8-year-old Warner Robins American Little League West All-Stars earned the right to play at Little League Southeast Park on Sunday by advancing to the championship game of the inaugural player-pitch state tournament for that age group.

Three teams -- Warner Robins, Murphey-Candler and Athens -- played for the two championship game spots in round-robin action Saturday at the Flint Energies Sports Complex.

In the final game, Warner Robins beat Athens 11-4 to finish first in pool play. The teams all went 1-1 in pool play, with Warner Robins and Athens advancing via tiebreakers.

Warner Robins opened play Saturday with a 12-11, extra-inning loss to Murphey-Candler, which then lost 12-6 to Athens to lead into the final game of the day.

Athens led 4-3 through three innings, but Warner Robins was in position to take command of the game.

Left-handed pitcher Ty Shelton started the game for Warner Robins, and Jake Canterbury finished it.

“He got us to where we could bring in Jake,” Warner Robins manager Jeremy Avery said of Shelton’s effort.

Avery said his team had to play its best game of the tournament. His team rallied late, scoring eight runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

Included in that rally was a two-RBI hit by Nik Buckner in the fifth inning.

Sunday’s championship game against Athens is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start. It will be the first time a tournament game other than the 11-12-year-old Southeastern Regionals will be held in Little League Southeast Park.

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