Team Georgia rolls past Tennessee

Posted 6/8/18

Team Georgia pitcher Colby Williams hurled a one-hit shutout to help Team Georgia

rout Tennessee 8-0 Friday evening


View photos from Friday's game with Team Tennessee:

Williams' pitching gem helps Team Georgia top Tennessee

WILBURTON, Oklahoma -- Colby Williams turned around and watched a fly ball travel deep into center field. It was the hardest hit ball of the afternoon for Team Tennessee and it threatened to put a damper on the pitching gem the Troup High School standout was pitching.

But center fielder Dalton Smith (Lowndes) made a running catch on the warning track to preserve Williams and Team Georgia's impressive 8-0 victory over Tennessee Friday evening in the Junior Sunbelt Classic at Eastern Oklahoma College.

"I was thinking, 'Oh snap'," Williams said of the hard-hit ball.

But Williams' pitching performance on Friday will be one they'll be talking about at the Sunbelt Classic for a while. The right-hander needed just 59 pitches to hurl a one-hit shutout. After allowing a single to the second batter of the game, he promptly got a perfectly executed 4-6-3 double play turned by second baseman Wade Richardson (Hillgrove) and shortstop Brian Port (Star's Mill) to get out of the inning.

That was his only blemish other than allowing a leadoff walk to start the third. But Port turned an unassisted double play to get the runner off the base paths. From there, Williams retired 14 straight.

He wasn't overpowering and struck out just one. But he relied heavily on his defense, which was stellar. The two double plays played helped Williams face the minimum of 27 batters in the game.

"There was no way I could have done it without the defense," Williams said. "Those guys made all the routine plays."

Williams' gem was just what Team Georgia needed, especially after losing to Canada 7-6 in a seventh-inning walk-off in the opener earlier in the day.

"After that walk-off, we knew we needed to come out here and take care of business," Williams said. "We want to play for the championship, so we knew we had to take care of the next opponent."

It took a while for Team Georgia to get going offensively. But when they did, they made Williams' job a whole lot easier. And it was ironic that a Lowndes County-connection from South Georgia got things started.

In the top of the sixth, outfielder Colby Thomas (Valdosta) singled and scored when CJ Rose (Lowndes) smashed an RBI double to the deepart part of the park to score Thomas. The Lowndes County rivals had four of Team Georgia's six hits in the game.

After Rose helped get the first run home, Williams was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second for Richardson, who cleared the bases with a two-run double to give Team Georgia a 3-0 advantage.

"He (Tennessee pitcher) had been in command of his slider the whole game," said Richardson, who finished 1 for 2 with a double and two RBIs.

"So I wasn't going to be surprised to see a slider. It was a 3-1 count, so I was just wanting to be aggressive. When he threw me a fast ball, I got the barrel on it and I guess it just went. I was surprised it went that far honestly."

With a 3-0 lead, Williams set down Tennessee's lineup in order, then the offense opened the floodgates with a five-run seventh inning when Tennessee pitchers combined to allow five walks and a hit batsmen. Thomas added an RBI single, then Williams aided his own cause with an RBI single.

Team Georgia will play a pair of games on Saturday. They will play Mississippi at Eastern Oklahoma College in Wilburton at 11 a.m. (ET). Then they will head to McAlester, Oklahoma and meet Missouri at 6:30 p.m. (ET) at Mike Deak Field.