Southeastern Region semifinals: Georgia tops West Virginia, advances to championship

WARNER ROBINS - Georgia (Columbus Northern) defeated West Virginia (Ripley) 9-3 in a Little League Baseball Southeastern Region Tournament semifinal on Wednesday.

Georgia will play Florida in the championship game on Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

In the top of the first for West Virginia, Christopher Jordan grounded out to second base. Jonathan Stepp smashed a home run to straightaway center field for a 1-0 lead. Ethan Stepp singled to left field. Joshua Landis struck out. Jacob Fisher popped out to second base.

For Georgia in the bottom of the first, Blake Hicks was hit by a pitch. Jacob Pate lined out to the shortstop. Hicks was thrown out trying to take third on a wild pitch. Brandon Pugh hit a line drive to second base that was misplayed. Knox Carter was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with two outs. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Kobie Buglioli hit a chopper that bounced into left field off the shortstop's glove, scoring both runners for a 2-1 lead. Troy Gilliland grounded out to the pitcher.

Jake Martin struck out to lead off the second for West Virginia. Luke Layhew singled to center field, and Lane Castro singled to left field. Remington Boyce laud down a bunt to advance the runners. Jordan singled to right-center field to drive in both runners for a 3-2 lead. Jonathan Stepp was thrown out at first.

In the bottom of the second, Cason Sizemore struck out to lead off for Georgia. Jack Tanner grounded out to the shortstop. Jalen Latta popped out to second base.

For West Virginia in the top of the third, Ethan Stepp popped out to second. Landis struck out. Fisher grounded out to second.

Hicks walked to lead off the bottom of the third. Pate hit a ground ball and Hicks was thrown out at second base. Pugh singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. Carter struck out for the second out. Buglioli struck out to end the inning.

In the top of the fourth, Layhew doubled down the left field line. Martin struck out. Cody Pittenger struck out. Jared Bumpus walked. Jordan grounded into a fielder's choice.

For Georgia in the bottom of the fourth, Gilliland singled to right field. Sizemore sacrificed Gilliland to second. Tanner singled to put runners on first and third. Jack Copley grounded into a double play.

Jonathan Stepp struck out to lead off the fifth for West Virginia. Ethan Stepp struck out. Landis grounded out to second.

In the bottom of the fifth, Hicks hit a home run to right-center field to tie the score, 3-3. Pate and Pugh walked, then advanced to second and third on a passed ball. Carter grounded to the third baseman, who tried to get Pate at home but made an errant throw. Pate scored for a 4-3 Georgia lead. Buglioli singled to left field, scoring Pugh for a 5-3 lead. Gilliland walked to load the bases. Sizemore grounded to third, but the throw home was wild and Carter scored for a 6-3 lead. Tanner popped out to second for the first out. Latta grounded into a fielder's choice, and Buglioli was forced out at home. Hicks crushed a three-run double to center field for a 9-3 lead. Pate popped out to left field to end the inning.

Pate struck out Fisher, Layhew and Martin in the top of the sixth to end the game.

For more on this game, come back to or pick up Thursday's Telegraph.

West Virginia 120 000 - 3 6 4

Georgia 200 07x - 9 6 0