A second-place finish at the Junior Dixie Boys World Series in Muscle Shoals, Ala., last week showcased the many stars in the group of 13-year-old Columbia County all-stars who represented the state of Georgia.
Amid the talent stood Tyler Moore.
The Evans Middle School eighth-grader is the smallest on the team. He stands just 5 feet tall, but his impact at the Junior Dixie World Series was as big as anyone else's.
"(Assistant coach) Chris Price and I both love seeing that boy play ball," Columbia County All-Stars coach Jamie Dukes said. "He is probably the smallest kid on the field, but he plays baseball with a passion."
The second baseman got the job done at the plate, in the field and on the base paths for Team Georgia in their march to the World Series finals.
His glove work as a middle infielder during the six-day tournament earned him a new nickname: PacMan.
"Just based on the way he gobbled up everything at second base, the name fits," Dukes said. "His base running ability is second to none. His instincts are tremendous - stuff you just cannot teach."
Moore came through at the biggest time in the World Series championship, when Georgia faced South Carolina in the finals. The Columbia County boys fell behind 6-1 at one point but battled back to tie the game in the sixth inning.
Moore was the one who tied the score when he laid down a bunt with one out and a runner on third.
"I knew (Dukes) would be calling for it because that would tie it up," Moore said. "So I just tried to bunt it down the first-base line."
The sacrifice squeeze tied the game at 6-6. South Carolina eventually won the title in extra innings, but Georgia returned home with an overall World Series record of 4-2.
Dukes said they also came home with their heads held high.
"Truly it was a total team effort. Every kid contributed in some way or another," he said.
The Columbia County 13-year-old boys, who won the Dixie Youth "O" Zone World Series last year, won the Georgia state tournament and brought home the World Series runner-up trophy this year.
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