Breakdown: #WRALL vs. Virginia SE Little League Semi-Finals | Sports & Recreation
And then there were four: Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and the Georgia team from Warner Robins. (Well, or three because Tennessee beat North Carolina earlier on Wednesday.)
In the big semi-final match-up between Georgia and Virginia, the local boys face a bit of an uphill challenge.
Over the first three games of pool play in the Southeastern Little League tournament, the Great Falls-Virginia team has hit and pitched better than WRALL-Georgia.
As a team, Virginia has hit .333 with five home runs and 22 runs batted in, showing their patience at the plate with more walks (16) than strikeouts (11).
Perhaps more impressively, their pitchers have dominated opposing batters to the tune of a 0.86 earned run average with only five walks and 19 strikeouts in 14 innings.
The Warner Robins boys have pitched well with 21 strikeouts in 17 innings with nine walks and a 2.47 ERA. However, they've been victimized by five errors in three games, leading to 10 unearned runs.
Offensively, WRALL hasn't shown as much pop as Virginia, hitting only one home run, but they have more stolen bases (2) and doubles (3) than Great Falls.
The key for a Warner Robins victory is:
#1) Get the top of the line-up hot at the plate.
Leadoff man Chase Padgett and table-setter Leyton Pinckney have only hit .111 and .200 respectively. Game three winner pitcher, Kody Winner, who hits third, has no RBIs but is hitting .286. (Tee Adams and Jackson Will are tied for the team lead with a .429 average among players who have more than three at-bats.)
#2) Tame Virginia's big hitters.
Eight players from Great Falls are hitting over .300 (Joshua McQuaig is hitting .800) in the first three games, but don't dismiss it as a product of the small sample because their boppers are producing. Kyle Novak is hitting .500 with three homers, five RBIs, five runs scored and three walks. Jason Volpicelli may only be hitting .200 but he has two taters, four RBIs and four runs scored.
If WRALL can get their bats going and cool off the Virginia offense, they've got a great shot at moving on to the Southeastern Regional Final.