Plant City, Bridgewater to meet in TOSC final
CEREDO-KENOVA -- It took Plant City (Fla.) a little while to get the bats going but once they got going, they didn't stop Tuesday night.
Plant City exploded for 12 runs in the middle three innings to earn its way into the Little League Baseball age 9-10 Tournament of State Champions championship game with a 13-5 win over Columbus American (Ga.) at Mitch Stadium.
The Florida champions will meet Bridgewater (Va.) in the 7:05 p.m., Wednesday, championship.
Plant City's Ben Pues took the first offering he saw in the top of the fifth inning over the right-center field wall for a grand slam home run to punctuate a five-run fifth that doubled the lead to 12-4. It was Pues' second grand slam of the tournament.
After tying the game with a four-run third, Plant City went back to work in the fourth with three consecutive hits to lead off the inning. An RBI single by Dylan Robinson scored Hunter Emerine, who had reached on a double. After a groundout by Ben Pues scored Connor Rogers, Plant City executed a double-steal to allow Robinson to score for a three-run advantage.
Columbus American led 4-0 after one inning. Brooks Barton had a two-out, two strike single that drove in two.
Plant City finally broke through in the top of the third with consecutive RBI singles by Parker Messick and J.J. Gonzalez before a squeeze bunt by Bryar Christian pulled Plant City within one run. Andrew Long's RBI double scored Gonzalez to tie the game.
After a rocky first inning, Robinson settled in and allowed just two hits in his final three innings before reaching his pitch limit at the end of the fourth.
Plant City had four players with multiple hits - Hunter Emerine, Braxton Plunk, Andrew Long, Robinson and Gonzalez.
Barton finished 2-for-3 for Columbus American, who also got two hits and a double from Robbie Tillman.
PLANT CITY 004 351 -- 13 14 2
COLUMBUS AMERICAN 400 010 -- 5 7 1
Robinson, Gonzalez (5), Messick (5) and Christian. Valero, Tillman (5) and Kirkland.
Hitting: (PC) Pues HR, 5 RBIs; Plunk 2-3, 3B; Robinson 2-2, 2 RBIs; Emerine 2-3, 2 2B; Gonzalez 2-4, RBI; Long 2-3, 2B. (CA) Younce 2-4; Tillman 2-2, 2B, RBI; Barton 2-3, 2 RBIs.
BRIDGEWATER (VA.) 11, GOODLETTSVILLE (TENN.) 4: Three consecutive errors jumpstarted a nine-run fourth inning Bridgewater as the Virginia state champs seized control.
The miscues led to 14 batters coming to the plate in the frame. Tyler Scott and Tanner Moyers each had two-run singles to propel Bridgewater.
It was a quick turn of momentum after Goodlettsville appeared headed for its own game-breaking inning in the top of the fourth.
Goodlettsville loaded the bases and got an RBI single by Harrison Hitt to extend the lead to 4-1, but Kennedy Jordan was caught trying to get back to third for the first out of the inning. On the next pitch, Andrew Waters hit a sharp grounder to Koice Quintanilla, who stepped on third and fired to first for a double play.
Goodlettsville pounded out 15 hits but left 12 runners on base, including the bases loaded in each of the fifth and sixth innings.
One day after hitting a grand slam, Bridgewater's Tanner Moyers continued his offensive onslaught, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
Christian Dixon finished 4-for-4 with a double for Goodlettsville while Waters was 3-for-4.
GOODLETTSVILLE 200 200 -- 4 15 4
BRIDGEWATER 001 91x -- 11 11 1
Scurlock, Sanson (3), Robertson (4), Jordan (4) and Dillard. Moyers, Kimbrough (5) and Eagle.
Hitting: (G) Dixon 4-4, 2B; Waters 3-4; Watson 2-3; Hitt 1-1, RBI. (B) Moyers 3-4, 4 RBI; Griffin 2-3, 2B, RBI; Hedrick 2-2.