MOULTRIE – As on occasion the grown-ups would scatter seeking shelter from the raindrops, the young ball players were immune to the weather conditions Saturday at the Magnolia Sports Complex. Teams from the Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Authority and several other communities in southwest Georgia were beginning various GRPA District 3 tournaments with the aim of moving on to play for state championships.
One tournament did get completed Saturday as, in 12 & under traditional baseball, three teams played a round robin event. Moultrie-Colquitt County went 2-0 first by blistering Crisp County 20-0 and then outlasting Sumter County 15-9 when the two-hour time limit expired in the fourth inning.
Crisp County went 1-for-7 batting against Moultrie-Colquitt’s Braeden Waller. Matthew Dillon hit a home run during a game where Crisp pitching issued 13 walks. (All other tournaments held at Magnolia used the pitching machine, which does not issue bases on balls).
But there would be plenty of free passes between Moultrie-Colquitt and Sumter of Americus. The two teams exchanged the lead more than once, Sumter taking the first advantage 1-0 facing Dillon, who got out of the inning on a strikeout.
Moultrie-Colquitt quickly tied the game as the home team in the first inning, starting with Rylan Howell’s base hit. With one down, Waller singled to left, and the teammates pulled off a successful double steal.
The offense continued with two more runs, Lane Duckworth getting the hit to right scoring one. He touched home on a two-out wild pitch.
Sumter County loaded the bases with one out, and it was Thomas Kimbrell tasked with limiting the damage from the mound. Sumter, though, found a two-out single to tie the score 3-3 in the top of the second inning.
Moultrie-Colquitt doubled its total batting in the home half, starting with Gage Emory. He walked and completed the trot around the diamond on a series of wild pitches. Latrivien Banks singled with the bases empty beginning a fresh rally, and he was safe at home from more wild pitches with two outs.
Duckworth was at the plate following two hit batters, and he singled Moultrie-Colquitt to the 6-3 lead.
But that bulge wasn’t enough as Sumter scored six times in the top of the third. There wasn’t a hit used to get the score 6-4 (two walks and an error). After one more walk and wild pitch had two Sumter runners in scoring position opposing pitcher Cade Leger singled one home. It was still a problem of the host team pitching not finding the strike zone, for four straight batters walked leading Sumter to go in front 9-6.
In spite of all the issues, Waller fanned the last four batters to appear for Sumter. To get the win, the Moultrie-Colquitt hitting answered the opponents’ tally from the top half with six of its own. Harrison Powell began things reaching on an error, and he raced around to score on a ground-out. Following a walk and Carter Penuel’s hit, Howell beat out an infield hit to cut the deficit to one run, 9-8.
With the score tied 9-9, Brayden Bell doubled in the go-ahead game-winner, Waller drove in one more from an infield safety and Moultrie-Colquitt used one more wild pitch to lead 12-9.
Time was running out as Brayden Bell hit a two-run single in the bottom of the fourth.
10 & under baseball
Moultrie-Colquitt County Gold will play for the District championship at 7:30 Monday against one of the two teams it knocked into the losers’ bracket final Saturday.
Sumter County, which defeated Thomasville YMCA to start the day, faced the Gold squad, which controlled the action from the outset to win 11-5.
As the ‘guest’ on the scoreboard, Moultrie-Colquitt Gold staked itself to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first and never looked back.
Jaxon Dorminey singled as the lead-off batter. Though he stayed on base seeing two get out, Bowen Derosso kept the inning going with a base hit. Both scored as Donnie Easom hit a ball in the air and it hit the ground fair.
Kaden King then singled Easom home.
With the pitching machine, winning the game is a lot about defense, and the Gold had that going Saturday. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Sumter had two hits, the second of which reached the fence. But left fielder Carter Summerlin’s throw was in time for the last out at third base.
Moultrie-Colquitt Gold added to the lead in the third inning on Derosso’s two-run home run. Summerlin singled ahead of the long ball.
There was more to the third as, with two down, King singled, Aston Lucky bunted his way on base and Justin Lucky singled for the RBI (6-0).
This division also features an extra defender, the ‘short fielder.’ Derosso played that role for the Gold making plays in the infield and outfield. He reached out to catch the final out of Sumter’s third inning, one where it scored one run but also was victimized by a big play up the middle by shortstop Ragan Bozeman for a force-out.
Moultrie-Colquitt Gold got the run back in the top of the fourth as Derosso singled in Summerlin. But in the bottom half Sumter made a push getting six on base after two were out. That cut the lead to 7-5.
Sumter County only had one baserunner in the last two innings while the Gold scored one in the fifth and two in the sixth.
King and Justin Lucky had hits in the top of the fifth.
The sixth began with Bryce Roberts’ hit and Summerlin’s safety. They scored on an error, then Aston Lucky drove home the final run.
Moultrie-Colquitt Black is also in this field, beating Mitchell County 15-0 but then falling to the Gold 28-3.
10 & under softball
The Moultrie-Colquitt County 10 & under machine-pitch softball team will play Monday at 5:30 p.m. against Worth County as a result of consecutive victories at the Magnolia Complex Saturday. The first was a crushing 22-0 final on Grady County, which went 0-for-6 at the plate.
Moultrie-Colquitt had home runs by Rhylee Carter, Allie Eure (2-for-2), Hannah Smith (twice), Kaylynn Harp (2-for-2) and Amelia Mercer (also 2-for-2).
Three hits at the plate came from Kamya Thomas, Taylor Hewitt and Jaden Sealy. One more hitter went 2-for-2: Elizabeth Tucker.
In the next outing, Moultrie-Colquitt defeated Thomasville YMCA 17-2. Thomasville scored two times in the first inning, but then were held to four hits the rest of the game.
Home runs here were hit by Thomas and Tucker. Thomas and Hewitt each enjoyed a three-hit game, and Eure, Sealy, Harp and Anna-Lynn Armstrong each went 2-for-2.
• Moultrie-Colquitt County’s 8 & under machine-pitch baseball team lost two times Saturday, 18-17 to Grady County and 18-4 to Sumter County.