Columbia County welcomed home another Dixie World Series championship team Thursday after the recreation department's crew of 11- and 12-year-old all-stars claimed the Dixie Youth "O" Zone title in Troy, Ala.
The team, known as Team Georgia at the world series, knocked off Alabama 9-4 in the championship game.
"It was a feeling of relief when we finally got that last out," Team Georgia head coach Scott Klosinski said. "In the end, the boys got what they worked for."
The win wrapped up an undefeated tournament for the all-stars. Team Georgia went 5-0 since the tournament started last Saturday and outscored its opponents 55-24.
In the championship game, Columbia County's Ryan Shead earned the win after allowing only one run on six hits in five innings. Tyler Chadwick hit a two-run home run in his first at bat.
Clint Hardy combined to hit 6-for-8 with six runs and two RBI in the tournament semifinals and finals. He wasn't the only Columbia County kid with a hot bat.
Including the seven wins in the state tournament, Team Georgia's offense combined for 152 runs in 13 games.
"The championship game was the only one where we didn't score 10 runs," Klosinski said. "We didn't believe anyone out there could keep our bats silent for six innings."
Team Georgia appeared headed for their first loss of the tournament in Wednesday night's semifinals game when the host team, Troy, took a 7-0 lead through three innings. Columbia County's bats suddenly came alive in the bottom of the fourth with a 10-run inning.
The eventual champs tacked on six more runs in the fifth to earn a trip to the finals.
The 9-4 win in the championship game meant the Dixie "O" Zone World Series trophy would return to Columbia County for another year.
The Columbia County All-Stars won the Dixie "O" Zone World Series last year under head coach Jamie Dukes. That team, now in the 13-year old division, began competition in the Dixie Junior Boys World Series this weekend in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
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