The Colquitt County Gold 12-and-under all-stars continued their quest for a Georgia Recreation and Parks Association state championship by blanking Summerville 20-0 on Friday in the winner’s bracket final at Sweetwater Park in Thomson.
Undefeated Colquitt County will face Vidalia at 10 a.m. today for the state championship.
Colquitt County's 14-and-under all-stars won two games Friday and also will play for a state championship in Thomson today, but will have to do it from the losers bracket.
Also on Friday, the Colquitt County 8-and-under girls were eliminated in their state tournament in Carrollton, falling to Rockmart 18-9.
In Thomson, the 12-and-under boys’ Wheeler Hunnicutt went the distance in the four-inning win over Summerville, giving up three hits, while recording eight strikeouts.
The Gold got off to a strong start in the first inning when Hayden Bledsoe hit a sharp double to left center that was followed by a Logan Wheeler walk.
Ian Brinson then hit a towering home run to put Colquitt County up 3-0.
Chason Fannin and Austin Craven led off the second with back-to-back singles. Griffin Simmons followed with a walk to load the bases.
Geoffrey Zeigler’s single scored two runs and was followed by an RBI single by Hunnicutt scoring Simmons.
Bledsoe reached on an error to clear the bases and Wheeler roped a double to score Bledsoe and was followed by a 2-run home run by Buck Blalock to give the Gold team a 11-0 lead.
Gage Kent reached on a base hit in the third and advanced to second on a single by Gabe Parker.
Bledsoe followed with a three-run home run to make the score 14-0 after three innings.
Blalock led off the fourth with a single and was brought home by Brinson’s second homer of the game.
Fannin and Craven then again had back-to-back singles and rode home on a home run by Kent.
Parker was then hit by a pitch and Hunnicutt singled to score Parker giving the Gold a 20-0 lead, which was preserved in the bottom of the forth.
Coach Joey Brinson noted that his team had "great pitching, timely hitting and made the plays in the field all week.
“They have played smart baseball and they hope to continue their good play in the championship game.”
After dropping to the losers bracket following a loss to Wayne County on Thursday, Colquitt County's 14-and-under all-stars won two games on Friday.
They must defeat Vidalia twice today to win the state championship, but coach Bill Frazier said Friday that he believes his team has enough pitching to bring home the state title.
Cole Bryant is expected to start on the mound in the first game today.
Outstanding defense and pitching led Colquitt County in its 12-0 shut out of Washington County and its 7-3 win over Wayne County on Friday.
Colquitt County did not commit an error in either game and turned two double plays in each game.
Adam Merritt pitched four innings and struck out two while walking just one in the win over Washington County.
Merritt, Tristin Frazier, Ryan Pipkin and Warren Funderburk each had two hits in the game. Bryant and Braden Flinchum each had one.
Ryan Chatman went the distance in the victory over Wayne County, striking out six and walking just one over seven innings.
He gave up a run in each of the first three innings, but did not give up another.
And the defense was stellar again with fine plays turned in by Bryant, Frazier and Chad Jacobs.
In the victory over Wayne County, Colquitt County got hits from Frazier, Pipkin, Funderburk, Chatman, Jacobs, Kodi Bishop and Cleyber Matos
The 14-and-unders also got a sacrifice bunt and a suicide squeeze in the game, which avenged the earlier loss to Wayne County.
Colquitt County’s 8-and-under girls won the District III championship in their first year of play and won their state tournament opener, defeating Carrollton 24-1.
A 13-1 loss to Vidalia sent Colquitt County to the losers bracket, where it scored four runs in the first inning to take an early lead over Rockmart.
Jade Horne and Kylie Davis led off the game with base hits and Hannah Welsh followed with a two-run double.
A double by Abeny Thomas drove in Welsh.
In fifth inning, Colquitt County scored five times, with four coming on a grand slam by Thomas, scoring Maggie Rae Parker, Horne and Davis, all of whom had singled.
Sarah Harrell followed the Thomas grand slam with a home run of her own.
“We had a good year,” the recreation department’s Lynn Bennett said. “This is our first year and we learned a lot. We’ve got a lot to build on.”