Carroll one win away from Dixie World Series
by Allen Worrell
Carroll County’s Dixie Pre-Majors all-star baseball team is one win away from earning a ticket to the Little League World Series.
The Carroll Dixie Pre-Majors (15-17 year olds) are 4-0 in the state tournament in South Boston after defeating Mecklenburg County 5-3 on Tuesday night. Carroll is scheduled to play Halifax at 5 p.m. tonight (July 11) for the state championship. Carroll has already beaten Halifax once in the double-elimination tournament, meaning Halifax would have to beat Carroll twice tonight. The winner of the state championship will advance to the Dixie Pre-Majors World Series in Guntersville, Alabama.
Carroll opened the tournament in South Boston on Friday with a 16-10 win over Mecklenburg. By virtue of the win, Carroll received a bye and topped Amherst 5-3 on Sunday night. Carroll then topped Halifax 7-0 on Monday before elimanting Mecklenburg on Tuesday night.
Head coach Larry Snow said Carroll flirted with winning the opener by the slaughter rule. But every time the team would get close, Mecklenburg would rally to extend the game. He said Josh Underwood started the game on the mound and pitched 5.2 innings before giving way to Brandon Lineberry, who closed out the win for Carroll. Additionally, he said Lineberry ripped a double off the center field fence.
Ryan Gravley pitched a complete game Sunday, picking up the 5-3 win over Amherst. After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning, Carroll rallied with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Blake Wood went 2-for-3 and provided the biggest hit, a two-run triple in the first inning.
Amherst tied the game at 3-all in the top of the third, but Carroll again had an answer. Nathan Snow’s RBI double off the center field fence scored Aaron Hooven for a 4-3 Carroll lead. Snow’s team added one more run in the fifth before holding on 5-3. Hooven went 2-for-3 with two doubles as well, but it was Carroll’s gloves that made the biggest difference against Amherst.
“We just played good solid defense, probably one of the best defensive efforts put on down there by any team,” Larry Snow said. “We just made play after play. They had runners on first and second and Wood made a heck of a diving catch and threw the runner out at first for a double play. We had some good plays in the outfield as well.”
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