BIRMINGHAM, ALA. — Shane "Moose" Miller knocked in two runs to lift the Kazmarek LittleOrioles over Georgia, 4-3, Saturday in the opening game of the DizzyDean 12 and Under World Series.
The Little Orioles were to play asecond-round game Sunday night against Oklahoma, an 11-1 first-roundwinner over Mississippi. Results of that game will be in Tuesday's youth roundup.
Ten teams are participating in the double elimination tournament.
Saturday's Little Orioles game was a match-up of unbeaten teams. The Boynton County Georgia team came in at 45-0 and the Little Orioles are 37-0 in 12-and-under games, 60-8 overall.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Little Orioles got a one-out single from Mike Ziegler. Mike McCarthy came in to run for Ziegler and moved to third when a ground ball by Randy Fox was booted by the Georgia shortstop.
Joe Hart then entered as a pinch-runner for Fox and promptly stole second with Miller at the plate. Two pitches later, Miller hit the ball off the pitching rubber and it bounced straight up, allowing McCarthy to score the tying run.
When the ball came down it was muffed by the Georgia shortstop, allowing Hart to race home with the winning run.
Jared Vogt (15-1) went the distance for the Little Orioles on a three-hitter with eight strikeouts and three walks. The right-hander gave up a two-run homer in the first.
Little Orioles leftfielder Steve Ammons answered with a towering solo homer well over the 200-foot sign in left in the bottom of the first to make it 2-1. Georgia scored its third run in the second on a fielder's choice, but in the bottom of the third, shortstop Mike O'Malley drilled a solo shot over the fence in left-center to put the Little O's within one runagain.
In the fourth, a nifty double play on a ground ball to third baseman Ziegler, who fired to Chris Rice at second, who fired to Miller at first, ended a Georgia threat.
The Little Orioles mountedtheir own threat in the bottom of the fourth. With two out, Miller roped a single to left and pinch-hitter Jason Sieklicki grounded a single to right-center, sending Miller to third.
Sieklicki stole second with another pinch-hitter, Troy Sedgwick, taking the first pitch. On a 1-2 pitch, Sedgwick drilled a shot right at the Georgia shortstop.
With Sieklicki leaving on the crack of the bat from second baseand crossing in front of the shortstop, the Georgia player seemed assurprised as everyone else when Sedgwick's dart ended up in his glove.
Vogt later escaped two late-inning jams to keep the Little Orioles within one run. In the fifth, he got out of a two-out, first-and-second situation by coaxing a Georgia batter to ground out to Miller at first.
Then, in the final inning, with runners on first and third and two outs, Georgia attempted a double steal. But Vogt cut off catcher Shane Thompson's throw to second and gunned down the Georgia runner at the plate. The Georgia player slammed into Thompson but the Little Orioles catcher braced himself and made the big putout.
Thetournament teams have been treated to a banquet, a parade of the teams with their state flags and a spectacular opening day ceremony withSouthern AA Minor League president Jimmy Bragan throwing out the first ball.
McCarthy carried the Little Orioles' Maryland State flag and posted it on the center field fence at Mountain Brook Park duringthe opening day ceremonies. As teams are eliminated from the tournament, their flags are taken down.
Only one flag will be flying comeThursday night, when a champion will be crowned.