Game 30
5 vs. Southwest

Saturday, August 25, 2007
3:30PM ET

Warner Robins’ Hood: World Series Title Game
Warner Robins, Ga. defeats Lubbock, Tex. 5-2 in U.S. Championship for a date with Japan in World Series finale

By Mark Rogoff
Special Correspondent

Randy Morris, the manager of the Columbus, Ga. team that won the 2006 Little League Baseball World Series title with a 2-1 triumph over Kawaguchi City, Japan, said the following after the Series-clinching win about the state of Georgia’s two championship teams:

“That is pretty awesome. Georgia has been here twice and won it. Maybe we need to try this more.”

Well, the state of Georgia will get a shot to make it 3-for-3.

The Southeast region champs from Warner Robins, Ga. will represent their state in Sunday’s World Series title game against Japan after a 5-2 win over Lubbock, Tex. in the United States Final in front of 24,200 fans at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.

David Umphreyville Jr.’s two-run single in the third made it 4-0 and proved to be the difference.

“I want a repeat,” said Clint Wynn, who earned the victory after tossing 4 1/3 innings of two-run ball.

“It would mean a lot,” added Umphreyville.

Umphreyville’s third-inning hit capped a rally that started with two outs and nobody on base. With Georgia already ahead 2-0, Dalton Carriker led off the inning with a solo homer to center. Kendall Scott then walked, and Payton Purvis singled to center. After both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch, Umphreyville singled up the middle to bring them in.

“It feels great knowing that we’re U.S. champions,” Umphreyville said.

It was a pair of defensive plays in the fifth inning helped Georgia preserve the 4-2 lead. Texas loaded the bases on a walk to Max Randolph, a Gregory Hewett single and a walk to Garrett Williams. Georgia manager Mickey Lay called on Carriker to relieve Wynn at that point, and Carriker took care of business…but not without a scare.

With Bryndan Arredondo at the plate, Carriker threw one in the dirt that got past Scott behind the plate. Randolph raced home from third, but Scott quickly retrieved the ball and tossed it to the covering Carriker, who applied the tag for the out. Then with runners on second and third, Arredondo lined one up the middle that seemed destined to fall in and tie the game. Shortstop Zane Conlon dove to his left, though, and snatched it out of mid-air for the final out.

“Uh oh,” Carriker said when he was asked of his thoughts at the moment the ball came off the Arrendondo’s bat. “If that ball gets through…there’s a chance they tie it up. So it was a big play.”

“That was one of the greatest plays I’ve seen in a shortstop,” said Texas manager Ed Thorne.

Williams had cut the Texas deficit in half at 4-2 with a two-out, two-run homer in the third. He drove a 2-2 offering from Wynn over the fence – and hedge – in left-centerfield. That marked the first home run Wynn had allowed in All-Star competition.

Texas would bring the tying run to the plate in the sixth after a Tyler Thorne leadoff walk and a Taylor Bridges two-out double. Jay Pendergrass had the chance to play the role of hero, but Carriker struck him out on a 1-2 breaking ball.

“That last batter I was a little nervous because (Pendergrass) could have tied it up,” Carriker said.

“Until that last out and last strike, it’s nerve-racking,” Umphreyville said.

Three straight grounders in the first gave Georgia a 1-0 lead. Carriker singled up the middle, and Micah Wells reached on a fielding error by shortstop Arredondo. Wynn came up next, and grounded one up the middle and through the infield to bring home Carriker from second.

It appeared that Georgia would add to its lead in the second, when Umphreyville led off with a triple into the right-field corner. But Stephen Smith struck out the next three batters to escape the jam.

Carriker made it a 2-0 game in the third, taking an 0-1 offering from Smith over the wall in centerfield for a solo home run. It was his third of the Series.

“He’s one of the best ballplayers I’ve seen,” Thorne said of Carriker. “That kid is an outstanding athlete.”

Carriker and his Georgia squad are set to take on Japan in Sunday’s finale. Georgia manager Mickey Lay said he will likely start Kendall Scott on the hill. Scott may not be their No. 1 pitcher, but the Georgia kids are confident and fired up going in against Japan.

“You can call us the underdog, but we love to beat you,” Wynn said.


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