2016 Junior Team Georgia recap

The 2016 Junior Team Georgia had a very strong showing in the 22nd Annual Sunbelt Classic in McAlester, Oklahoma. The team went 6-3 in pool play to reach the Bronze medal game against Team Arizona. 

On the first day of the tournament, Team Georgia jumped out to an early lead on Team Canada and captured a 12-1 victory.  With six runs in the first three innings, Team Georgia left no doubt about the eventual outcome. Garrett Marchman (Greenbrier) racked up three RBIs on two hits. Slayton Marina (West Laurens) added a two-run homer, while pitcher Andrew Moore (Jackson) put together a solid outing. Team Canada managed just three hits off of the junior who allowed no earned runs, walked two and struck out one during his five innings.

In the second game of first day, Austin Thompson's big day was not enough, as Team Georgia lost 10-1 to Team Tennessee. Thompson (South Effingham)  went 2 for 2 at the plate. Team Georgia pushed across its only run on an RBI single by Christian Avant (Tift County).

Day 2 did not start off the way Team Georgia wanted as they dropped an 8-4 game to Team Mississippi despite the effort of Steven Minter (Hillgrove).  Minter did all he could to give Team Georgia a boost, but it wasn't enough. He went 2 for 2, drove in one and scored one run to lead the offense. He homered in the sixth inning and singled in the seventh inning. Thompson added a solo home run to the offensive tally.

In the night cap of Day 2, Team Georgia used a big fifth inning to beat Team Missouri, 9-1. Team Georgia scored in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Reed Robinson (Bowdon), a three-run double by Lee Kay (Heard County) and an RBI single by Minter, who finished with three RBIs on four hits. Marina kept contact to a minimum, striking out four Team Missouri batters. He allowed no earned runs and just four hits over five innings to earn the win.

Day 3 was a strong day for Team Georgia, who combined to score 28 runs in a sweep of Team Colorado and Team Texas. In the first game of the day, Team Georgia jumped on Team Colorado with twelve runs in the first three innings and coasted to a 12-0 win. Tabor Mongero (North Hall) went 2 fdor 2 at the plate, while Nolan Daniel (West Laurens) picked up the win on the mound. Daniel allowed just two hits in his complete game effort.

In the second game of Day 3, Team Georgia and Team Texas lit up the scoreboard as they combined for 26 runs. In the end, Team Georgia won the offensive battle, 16-10.

Everything was working at the plate for Team Georgia in the fourth as they scored 12 runs -- a run on an RBI single by Jay Saunders (Colquitt County), a single by Avant, an RBI double by Kay, a two-run single by Marchman, an RBI single by Joah Curry (Locust Grove), a two-run single by Saunders, a two-run error off the bat of Brennan Crooms (Meter) and a two-run double by Thompson accounted for the big inning. Marchman added a solo homer later in the game to add to his RBI total.  Jamie Boatright (Hillgrove) recorded the victory. He struck out three, walked two and surrendered eight hits.

Day 4 of the Sunbelt Classic saw the Team Georgia bats stay red hot in an 11-1 victory over Team Oklahoma Gold. The game was decided quickly as Team Georgia exerted its will early with seven runs in the first three innings. Jake Arnold (Starrs Mill) had two extra-base hits as he doubled in the first and fourth innings. Zack Brockman (Savannah Christian) baffled Team Oklahoma Gold, striking out eight batters and allowing one earned run on four hits over five innings to pick up the win. Chaz Bertolani (Johns Creek) added three hits and three RBIs.

But Team Georgia's four-game winning streak came to a close on Day 5 in a 6-2 loss to Team Arizona. Thompson got a hit in each of his two at bats to lead Team Georgia at the plate.

In the night cap of Day 5, Team Georgia bounced back as Marchman gave Team Georgia a late push to beat Team Oklahoma Blue, 5-2. Marchman drove in the winning run to give Team Georgia the lead in the sixth inning. He finished with two RBIs.

Arnold added two RBIs as he homered in the first inning. Team Georgia got the win thanks in large part to Chas Patrick's (Schley County) dominant, six-strikeout performance. Patrick allowed one earned run on three hits and two walks over five innings. Beau Jones (Mill Creek) put away the final six outs to record the save.

In the Bronze medal game, Team Georgia won the hit battle but couldn't push enough runs across in a 7-6 loss to Team Arizona. Avant went 2 for 3 to lead the offense, driving in one run and scoring another. After scoring seven runs early, Team Arizona's lineup had no answer for relief pitcher Reed Robinson (Bowdon). Team Arizona managed just one hit off of the pitcher, who allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out three during his 3 1/3 innings of work.

Marchman and Thompson were named to the Sunbelt Classic All Tournament Team.