For Tennessee, winners of the Southeast Region and recipients of a trip the Little League World Series in Williamsport, it was the performance of Brock Myers and Jake Rucker.
Myers, in the 1-0 win over Georgia, was hitless. He pitched five innings with the only thing tarnishing his performance three walks. Those were offset by his nine strikeouts.
And then there was Jake Rucker, replacing Myers after the latter had run his pitch county to 85 and had to come out of the game. Myers threw the final inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Kody Winner but that was negated by a double play – a double play that he started when Connor Bookout’s bunt stayed airborne just long enough for him to get a glove under it. He struck out Chase Padgett – Padgett by the way saved at least a couple of runs when he, in centerfield, robbed Tennessee’s Luke Brown of a homerun.
Pitching. Definitely. There was also the fact that Tennessee had all of its pitchers available whereas Georgia – Warner Robins American – had burned Winner and Tee Adams in the semifinals.
Not that Leyton Pinckney wasn’t off his game. Pinckney went all five innings against the opponent and scattered five hits while striking out six. He didn’t walk a hitter.
The difference on the scoreboard turned out to be a leadoff single by Cole Carter to start the second. He moved to third on an error and scored on a passed ball.
Tennessee, represented by Goodlettsville Little League, and Georgia both ended up stranding five runners.