WRALL West wins 7-8 state baseball championship

awoolen@macon.comJune 26, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Throughout the tournament season, the 7-8 rookie West All Star team from Warner Robins American Little League came back from tough situations to win.

In the championship game Sunday, it was no different.

Trailing Athens Little League 4-0 after the first inning, the team from WRALL responded.

Back and forth the two teams went, until the West pulled ahead in the top of the fifth inning for good and won 14-12.

“I just told them to make the plays,” said manager Jeremy Avery.

Playing at Little League Southeast Park for the championship put the pressure on both teams.

Avery knew his team was a bit nervous after the first inning and getting in a hole.

“After we got started, I wasn’t nervous anymore,” said Nik Buckner, who pitched for part of the game.

The real story, though, wasn’t the score but the fact that these 8-year-olds had played coach pitch ball throughout the spring, had two weeks to develop their pitching and went on to become the inaugural rookie ball tournament champions for Georgia.

Clutch plays from center fielder Chaz Sturn in the championship game as well as the sectionals, timely hits and the pitching all sealed the deal for WRALL West.

Leading hitters during the championship game were Andrew Dunford who was 4-5 with four RBI, Avery Cooper went 3-4 with a triple and two RBI and Jake Canterbury was 3-3 with one RBI.

“I just feel awesome,” said Andrew Dunford after the game.

His teammate realized what a big moment it was to play on that field.

“It might be the only time I get to do it,” said Buckner.

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