After the 11-12 “A” Georgia District 1 Tournament was postponed for two weeks, play finally got under way last Monday at Dean Field as the host Rockmart Yellow Jackets took on Cedartown and Cartersville.
After pool play, Rockmart held a 2-2 record after defeating Cedartown on Saturday for the second time and earned a shot at taking on Cartersville in a best-of-three series that started Sunday.
However, the Jackets lost to Cartersville on Sunday and Monday, giving them second place in the district.
Rockmart fell to Cartersville twice during last week’s competition, losing to the Hurricanes 17-0 last Monday and 10-6 last Thursday.
But a pair of wins over Cedartown, including an 18-17 victory in extra innings on Saturday, gave the Jackets the right to try and get the best of Cartersville in the finals.
The Jackets’ first win of the tournament came last Wednesday when the home team beat Cedartown, 10-3, on the strength of an 8-run first inning.
Will Smith provided the highlight of the inning as he belted a two-run double that ultimately became the game-winning hit as Cedartown’s 3-0 lead was wiped away.
Morgan Simms, Tyler Hembree and Dawson Sanders led off the bottom of the frame with a single each before Cal Fuller and Kolby Quick knocked in a run apiece.
Smith then got his big hit and Jamal Davis and Caleb Wilder contributed with RBIs of their own.
Quick finished with two RBIs as well and Simms set the final score in the fifth with a hit that allowed Andrew Garrett to score.
Rockmart utilized five pitchers in the game but stayed consistent on the mound.
Quick started and threw four strikeouts followed by Smith, Garrett, Hembree and Fuller.
Sanders showed his base running skills against Cartersville last Thursday as he scored two runs on passed balls and went 2-for-3 with a triple and a double.
The Jackets held a 5-4 lead going into the bottom of the fifth but the Hurricanes hit three home runs to help them score six runs and take a 10-5 lead. Davis led off the sixth with a solo homer for Rockmart but it was not enough.
Saturday morning saw the Jackets score nine runs in the fourth inning against Cedartown to take a 12-5 lead and then watch nervously as their opponents came back time after time.
After Cedartown forced extra innings by pushing across five runs in the bottom of the sixth, Quick was able to score on an error in the top of seventh to put Rockmart on top, 18-17.
Cedartown then went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to seal the win for the Jackets.
Down 5-3 after three innings, Rockmart got a big boost from Luc Culver, who hit a three-run home run in the top of the fourth and then came back around in the at-bat to hit a two-run double.
With Rockmart holding a seven-run lead, Cedartown scored six in the bottom of the fourth to make it 12-11.
The Jackets were able to add three in the fifth and then two runs in the sixth thanks to an inside-the-park home run from Morgan Simms.
NOTE: During Saturday’s game, Rockmart Little League officials took a moment to remember Cedartown Little League volunteer Monroe Johnson, who passed away last Thursday and was a big supporter of youth baseball in Polk County.