In a back-and-forth battle that went down to the final at-bat, the Greenville 11-12 Little League All-Star baseball team used a three-run sixth inning to turn back a spirited Laurens rally, pulling out a 15-14 victory in a winner’s bracket game in the state championship in Taylors.
Laurens, having lost for the first time in the tournament, will now play the survivor of the TC-FM/Darlington elimination game, which was contested after Laurens’ loss. Greenville will play the survivor of Wednesday’s game on Thursday night, needing one victory to advance to the Southeast Regional. Laurens must now win three straight games in as many days to win the state title.
Griffin Abell had two three hits, including two doubles, and five RBI – the last three coming with two out in the top of the sixth to give Laurens a 13-12 lead when the squad was down to its final out. Laurens, which had trailed 12-8 entering the top of the sixth, scored six times and sent 10 batters to the plate before Greenville finally retired the side.
But Greenville had one final scoring surge in it, getting a two-run double from Trey Sanders to tie the game, then a game-winning RBI single from Griffin Pickhardt to end it. Pickhardt proved to be almost unstoppable for Greenville, coming a triple short of the cycle. Pickhardt had a two-run double in the second and a grand slam in the third, to go along with the winning hit in the sixth, to finish 3 for 4 with seven RBI.
Mason Hamby and Thomas Willis each scored three runs for Laurens.