Georgia wins title by defeating Alabama 9-4 in championship game at Sportsplex
Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2007
For the second year in a row, the Georgia team from Columbia County has won the Dixie Youth O-Zone World Series.
Georgia defeated Alabama 9-4 on Thursday to reclaim the title.
Although it had only one
player from last year's team, Christian Hill, the Georgia squad once again left its mark.
Alabama faced Georgia twice in the World Series and lost both times. Georgia was undefeated in the tournament, including a 16-7 win over Troy on Wednesday.
“We worked hard. This wasn't about this week. We told the boys they were their own family now,” Georgia coach Scott Klosinski said.
With the loss, the Alabama team from Dothan took second place.
Ryan Shead was the winning pitcher for Georgia. He pitched five innings, allowing one run and striking out nine batters.
“I was thinking to hit my spots and I'll do good,” Shead said. “It feels good to win.”
Although Georgia won the Series, Alabama's Justin Byrd took the batting champion title among the 12 teams.
Byrd finished with a .818 batting average and went 9 for 11 in the tournament. In the championship game, he went 3 for 3 with a single, double and two-run homer.
“We never thought we'd get this far,” Byrd said. He added that he practices a lot, which led him to win the batting title.
Alabama took a 3-2 lead after the first inning, but Georgia rallied back and scored seven runs in two innings to take the lead.
In the first inning for Georgia, Tyler Chadwick hit a two-run home run to take a 2-0 lead.
Chadwick also was the winning pitcher Wednesday, throwing a complete game. Chadwick ended up 2 for 4 on the day with three RBI.
“I knew we had to get on them early and keep scoring. Our pitching shut them down today. Ryan did a great job,” Chadwick said.
In the bottom of the first, Alabama scored three runs off
two separate home runs.
Roquel Marsh hit his first home run of the day to lead off the bottom of the inning. Then Brandon Green got on base after an error and Byrd homered to
Marsh homered again in the fifth inning for his second RBI of the day. He finished 2 for 3.
Jeremiah Summerford also had a good offensive game for Alabama. He went 3 for 3 with one single and two doubles.
Georgia scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 5-3 lead. However, the team did not get one hit in that inning. The runs were scored off three walks and one error.
Georgia continued to add runs to the scoreboard in the fifth inning when the team put up four runs off four hits.
Byrd also balked twice in the inning to help Georgia's cause.
Clint Hardy of Georgia went 2 for 3 with two singles in the championship game.
Hunter Hubbard and Spencer Murray each went 1 for 1 and Hill went 1 for 2.
“This was just a team effort. We hit the ball well and pitched well. Shead pitched a great game,” Klosinski said.
Although Alabama finished in second, manager Wayne Green was proud of how far his team had come.
“We've come a long way. Finishing second is like winning to us,” Green said.
None of the World Series teams were able to beat Georgia, although the Troy team came the closest by scoring seven runs against them.
Green believes it's Georgia's focus that has kept the World Series champs so strong.
“Georgia has stayed real focused. That work has paid off for them,” Green said.
He believes his hitter, Byrd, is the best hitter around right now.
“If they'd pitch to him, he'd be the home run champ,” Green said. Byrd was walked seven times in the World Series.
After the trophies were awarded to both teams, the team sportsmanship award was handed out.
For the first time in 52 years, there was a tie between two teams. Instead of breaking the tie, Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith decided to give a trophy to each team.
Florida and Troy shared the honor. Troy head coach Mike LeCroy was on hand to receive the trophy, which was the same size as the runner-up trophy.
Dan Smith said it has been an honor hosting the tournament and believes this is the first of many for the city of Troy.
“Troy has been a great place for us and very welcoming. We just want to thank everyone,” Millie Klosinski, Georgia's coach's wife, said.
The leading offensive players for the World Series were:
Byrd, 9 for 11; Taylor Glover, Georgia, 10 for 14; Marsh, 8 for 13; Lawson Stewart, Troy, 10 for 15; Hardy, 11 for 16.
Hardy, 12; Marsh, 11; Chadwick, 11; Stewart, 8.
Byrd, 11; Cody Turner, Georgia, 9; Rashodd Cornelius, Arkansas, 8; Jalin Lawson, Troy, 8.
Marsh, 3; Hardy, 3.