LEESBURG -- The Tift County 12-and-under GRPA All-Stars seem to perform best under pressure.
Faced with elimination, the Devils crusheded Americus 10-0 in five innings here last night advancing to the championship game of the District III Championship Series.
Tift will play Thomas County tonight at 6:00 at the Park Street Comlex and will be trying to force an "If" game scheduled for 7:30.
"Maybe we should play with our backs to the wall everytime," said Tift Coach Mike Davis.
Tift had to come back for a win against the a very strong Moultrie Gold team in the subdistrict last weekend. Last night's win was not as tough thanks to the 10-run mercy rule.
"We came into the game with a much better attitude," said Davis. "We just stayed in the game and put it in play.
"Good things happen when you put it in play."
The good things started with Corey Rodall's pitching. Rodall started and went three innings. Rhett Hammond and Chance Veazey pitched an inning a piece in the three-hit shutout.
"We needed Corey to step up big tonight, and he did," said Tift coach Todd Veazey. "That was a big factor."
The Tift bats came alive against Americus. Jared Davis was 3-4 with three runs scored.
Rhett Hammond was 2-2 with a pair of RBI and was hit by a pitch. Ryan Moore was 1-2 with a double and 3 RBI.
In the Tift third, Cody Cottle and Crumley (1-1, 2 BB) led things off with a pair of walks, and Davis ripped a single to left to load the bases.
Chance Veazey plated the game's first run with a ground out to second and Tift led 2-0 when Crumley came home on an infield error.
Moore had the inning's big blow. He rang the fence in right centerfield for a two-RBI double and scored on Hammond's single to rightfield.
The Tift third was more of the same. Cottle and Crumley again led off with walks before Davis loaded the bases with a perfect bunt. That was the end of the similarities, however.
In that third inning, Veazey collected an RBI with a walk. Moore and Hammond then earned RBI when they were hit with consecutive pitches.
The tenth and final run scored when a sharply hit ball by Ben Watson was booted by the Americus short stop.
Crumley turned in a pair of defensive gems for Tift early in the game. The first came when the Tift third baseman started a rare around-the-horn double play in the first inning.
In the second, Crumley checked a runner at second before firing to first for the out on an attempted sacrifice bunt.
In the first game of the evening, Thomas County second baseman Kelley Maddox drove in all three runs with a pair of singles.
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ALMA [mdash]William Dennis Cromer, age 71, of Alma passed away suddenly on Sunday, October 18, 2020 at the Bacon County Hospital. He was born in Tifton, Georgia on April 20, 1949 to James Presley Cromer and Margaret LeSeur Cromer. Besides his parents he was preceded in death by two brothers,…