The Valdosta Sluggers lived up to their name on Friday.
The Sluggers scored 29 runs in their two games, had a .493 team batting average for the day and earned two victories at the Dizzy Dean Baseball 10-year-old state tournament on Friday at Freedom Park.
“These last three games, our bats have been on fire,” Sluggers head coach Timm Samples said. “These last three games, we’ve scored (44) runs. ... They’re playing the kind of ball they know they can play.”
The Sluggers, the 10-year-old All-Star team from the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority, will play Union County today in a loser’s bracket game at 10 a.m. If they win that game, they will qualify for the Dizzy Dean Baseball World Series.
“Just to be there and have the chance (to play for a trip to the World Series) is a blessing, and we’re fortunate and very lucky,” Samples said. “I hope they’ve got (at least) one more (win) in them.”
On Friday morning, the Sluggers beat Rossville 17-10. They fell behind 6-3 in the second inning. But then they exploded for nine runs in the third inning and five more in the fourth, and pulled away for a seven-run victory.
Cameron Carter had a big game for the Sluggers. He went 4 for 4 and blasted a three-run homer in the fourth. Carter ended up with five runs batted in and scored four runs.
Drew Harrell and Andrew Clark both went 2 for 4 and scored two runs. Clark drove in three runs, and Harrell had two RBIs.
After beating Rossville, the Sluggers switched fields and won another game, defeating Bartow County 12-5.
Brodie Whiddon led the Sluggers at the plate in their second game, going 4 for 4 with two runs, three RBIs and two stolen bases. Jake Hamlin went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles, two RBIs and a run. Harrell was 2 for 4 and scored two runs. Wade Holton was 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
In the winner’s bracket of the 10-year-old tournament, the Sandy Springs Storm and either the Buckhead Bucks or the Acworth Warriors will play at 10 a.m. today, with the winner advancing to the championship game. The loser of the game will play in the loser’s bracket final.
In the 8-year-old state tournament, the East Cherokee Bulls and the OP Sharks will compete for a spot in the championship game today at 9 a.m. They are the last remaining undefeated teams in the tournament.
Four teams remain alive in the loser’s bracket.
Valdosta’s team in the tournament, the Blazers, were eliminated with a 15-7 loss to Sandy Plains on Friday afternoon.
“We had some breakdowns defensively,” head coach Dan Kerrigan said. “We hit OK, but not as well as we would have liked. We ended up with seven runs.”
Nevertheless, Kerrigan said he is still proud of his team, and he looks forward to the team’s next tournament.
Lamonte Lindon drove in multiple runs again for the Blazers on Friday. Wyatt Crosby had two RBIs and Daniel Kerrigan had two hits and an RBI.
The Blazers have qualified for the Dizzy Dean Baseball World Series, which takes place later this month in Southaven, Miss.
“We’re going to work the kinks out and get prepared for opening ceremonies July 18 in Southaven,” Kerrigan said. “I think they’ll be resilient, and I’ve seen them play at a high level. Given the opportunity that we’re going to have, I think they’ll show that again.”
The Valdosta Sluggers lived up to their name on Friday.
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