Game 18
Southeast 8
 vs.
New England 1

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
6:00PM ET


Georgia Feeling Peachy
Southeast champs grab No. 1 seed from Pool A with an 8-1 win over New England

By Mark Rogoff
Special Correspondent

The Southeast champs from Warner Robins, Ga. received a special message prior to their win-and-you’re-in game against the New England region champs from Walpole, Mass. That message came in the form of an e-mail from a recent Georgia Little League Basbeall World Series hero.

Kyle Carter, who last year led his Columbus, Ga. squad to the Little League Baseball World Series title, sent his heart-felt well wishes, which Warner Robins manager Mickey Lay relayed to his club before the start of the critical game.

The message from Carter may just have helped as Warner Robins posted an 8-1 win over Walpole in front of 2,500 fans at Volunteer Stadium Wednesday.

Georgia joins Lake Oswego, Ore. as the teams advancing out of Pool A and into the semi-final round. Georgia takes the No. 1 seed because of their 9-4 win in a head-to-head matchup with Oregon.

Regardless of seed, Georgia can now say they’re one of the four-best Little League teams in the United States.

“You don’t really realize that,” said Payton Purvis, who capped the scoring with a two-run single in the fourth. “It will settle in when the whole tournament is over.”

“I just knew we had to win today,” added Lay. “We just play one game at a time. We just go where they tell us to go.”

In a game that was suspended Tuesday night with Georgia leading 2-0 in the top of the second inning and resumed Wednesday morning, the Georgia squad got everything it needed from Dalton Carriker.

The 5-foot-6, 128-pounder came on to pitch once play got going again, and quickly struck out Kyle Donnelly to end the inning. Carriker went on to toss four-and-a-third innings of one-run ball.

“I really think the tone was set when he came in and pitched and got that one out in the top of the second,” Lay said.

Carriker then put the game out of reach when he came to bat in the bottom of the inning, driving the first pitch he saw from Walpole pitcher John Adams over the wall in right for an opposite-field three-run homer that made it 5-0.


“It’s a great feeling knowing no one is catching that one,” he said. “It’s just really cool.”

Georgia jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first Tuesday night, taking advantage of Samuel Falkson’s lead-off walk to Zane Conlon. Carriker followed the free pass with a double to the left-centerfield gap. Micah Wells then brought both runners home with a single through the right side.

Massachusetts had its best chance to get back in it in the third, although it could muster only a single run on five hard-hit balls. Michael Rando lined one right back to Carriker for the first out. Patrick Hayes, Jr. then roped a double to center. Timothy Sullivan followed with a deep fly to left that was caught by Hunt Smith, whose throw to third was not in time to get the tagging Hayes. Hayes scored a wild pitch shortly before Matthew Bender laced a double to centerfield. Adams then sent a rocket back to Carriker, who somehow managed to stab it and run it to first on his own for the final out.

“Dalton is a very gifted athletically,” Lay said. “He’s just a very good fundamental ballplayer who can excite the team. He gives everything he has.”

Walpole finishes their run at the World Series with a 1-2 record.

“Georgia played a great game,” said manager Brian Oberacker. “We’re proud of the kids for making it this far. We just told them not to hang your heads.”

 


2007, Little League Baseball Incorporated
Please direct comments about this website to webmaster@littleleague.org.