WARNER ROBINS – Austin Burnette tied the game with a two-run triple in the fifth inning and did himself one better with a two-run single in the stop of the sixth for the lead. Georgia came back late for a 5-3 win Monday night in Little League Baseball Southeastern Region Tournament’s final pool game.
Georgia went 3-0 and is the first-place team in pool B and will play at 1 p.m. on Wednesday against West Virginia. North Carolina fell to 1-2.
Florida won pool A and plays Alabama at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
The standing-room only crowd at Little League Southeast Park didn’t get to see the locals here a year ago, and ignored shaky weather to see if they could go undefeated through pool play. The game was delayed by nearly two hours.
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Burnette made sure they did with the huge hits in the fifth and sixth innings to make a great pitching night in relief from Jake Fromm hold up.
Fromm struck out nine and gave up one hit in 3-1/3 innings to keep Georgia in it. In amazing irony, it was his throwing error in the first inning that allowed North Carolina to take a 3-1 lead, which it held until the top of the fifth.
Trey Odom and Jordan Hampton were hit by pitches around an out in the fifth against North Carolina relief pitcher Holton Clifton.
Up stepped Burnette, not long after Jacob Giles teased the crowd with a long drive to right-center that was caught. Burnette’s shot found more gap, and Odom and Hampton raced home to tie it.
Logan Morris walked, and the count went full on Logan Fink with runners at the corners, and he drew a walk to load the bases for No. 9 hitter Dillon Toms to face new pitcher Gray MacKenzie.
But MacKenzie was big and got Toms on three pitches.
On came Odom for Fromm to start the fifth. After a groundout, Nathan Henson singled and Holton Ahlers was hit by a pitch, and had to leave the game.
Odom then changed his shoes. And then Odom whiffed Tyler Conklin on three pitches only to walk Hunter Christopher. Odom responded by getting MacKenzie swinging with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The top of Georgia’s lineup was next, but MacKenzie got two outs before Odom’s single to center. Giles reached on an infield single and both advanced on a wild pitch before Hampton walked to load the bases.
And up came Burnette, Mr. Clutch for the day. He yanked a single to left-center for two runs and, finally again, the lead.
Odom, who struggled in the fifth after Jake Fromm’s superb relief outing, got the first out in the sixth before giving way to Morris, got an out, gave up a walk and got a game-ending diving catch from Dillon Toms.