Softball, baseball crown rookie champions

awoolen@macon.comJune 22, 2014 

WARNER ROBINS -- Teams from Macon and Warner Robins won state championships back-to-back Sunday.

Western Little League defeated Hall County Little League 19-10 to win the first Georgia rookie softball championship.

Warner Robins American Little League West won 12-2 in four innings against Peachtree City Little League for the Georgia rookie baseball championship.

Despite heat indexes near 100 degrees at game time for softball at 12:30 p.m., the 7-8-year-old players handled the championship game pressure with ease.

Western manager Al Gray was emotional after the win.

“I’m very proud of them,” he said, tearing up.

Before the game, he told his players not to let their hard work go to waste.

McKenna Hallman took the words to heart. She hit a three-run inside-the-park home run to put the game away in the top of the sixth. The fourth-grader at Skyview Elementary School is often the cheerleader of the team. She said the win was “awesome.”

On the baseball diamond, the Warner Robins team went 10-0 in tournament play, outscoring its opponents 158-31.

“We weren’t about to go 9-1,” manager Kevin Pike said.

Helping to secure the win were Zach Brown, who hit a three-run homer, and Gavin Pike, who was 3-for-3 with three RBI.

“He just threw it up the middle, and I just hit it,” Brown said of his home run.

Trailing 2-0 going into the second inning, Warner Robins responded by putting up five runs in the bottom of the inning.

Warner Robins’ pitchers were Troy Carpenter and Bryce Harrelson, and they combined on a two-hitter.

Pike credited his coaches, Sy Jones and Brian Harrelson, with helping him come up with game plans and his players for responding.

“This was our dream and our goal,” Pike said.

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