MOULTRIE -- Teams that strand 14 base runners in six-inning games rarely win and that was the case in the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association's sub-District III 12-and-under baseball tournament on Thursday at the Magnolia Sports Complex.
Tift County A beat Colquitt County A 5-4 in the sub-District championship game on Thursday to advance to the District championship series that will begin on Monday in Americus.
Time and again, Tift County pitchers Corey Delarosa, Zach Shiver and Zeke Sparrow pitched out of trouble, protecting a lead their team took in the first inning.
Colquitt County left the bases loaded three times, including in the sixth inning when it had the tying and winning runs on base with none out, but came up short.
Colquitt County also loaded the bases with none out in the first inning and could not score.
All told, Colquitt stranded two in the first, three in the second, two more in the third and another in the fourth.
The meeting was the third between the two teams in the tournament.
Tift County won the tournament opener 8-2 on Monday, leaving Colquitt County to claw back through the losers bracket.
When the two teams met again on Wednesday, unbeaten Tift County needed to win one of two games to claim the title in the double-elimination tournament.
But Colquitt County held on in a game that finished just before midnight to win 7-6 to force Thursday's "if" game.
Tift County scored in the top of the first when Hunter McAllister opened the game with a single, moved to second on an error and to third on a wild pitch. Delarosa's ground out scored him.
Tift County extended the lead to 2-0 in the second when Delarosa singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on Shiver's ground out.
After getting six baserunners, but no runs, in the first two innings, Colquitt County finally broke through in the third when Davis Durham walked and Cole Pitts doubled him home.
Tyler Dismuke followed with a walk to put runners on first and second and the runners moved up on a wild pitch.
But Shiver, on to pitch in relief of starter Delarosa, retired the next three batters in order, stranding the two runners.
Tift County added two more runs in the top of the fourth when Ryan Bragg reached on an infield hit and Jordan Winslow doubled.
Both scored on an infield throwing error.
The lead went to 5-1 in the top of the fifth when Delarosa led off with a single and later scored on a wild pitch.
That run was to prove decisive.
In the bottom of the fifth, Colquitt County's Cole Pitts led off with a line drive home run to center field.
Three straight walks then loaded the bases before Sparrow was called on to replace Shiver.
Sparrow retired the first two batters before Ryan Davis singled in one run to cut the Tift County lead to 5-3.
But Sparrow struck out the next batter to strand three more Colquitt County runners.
Colquitt County's Daylon Connell retired Tift County without giving up any further runs in the top of the sixth.
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