After breezing through the divisional championships at Winchester last week, the run for Tullahoma’s 12U Little League All-Star team came to an end at the hands of host Columbia as they were swept out of the regional series 9-2 and 11-8 despite outhitting their foes in their win-or-go-home showdown.
Tullahoma never led in the two-game series at Columbia and, in fact, didn’t dent the scoreboard until the final inning of the first game as they found themselves at the wrong end of a 9-0 deficit. The scoring drought was snapped in the sixth inning when Brodie Howell and Gage Hazel plated runs. Columbia outhit Tullahoma 8-to-5 in the opening game of the regionals but Tullahoma made four errors in the contest. Beaux Saunders took the hill for Tullahoma and surrendered four earned runs while fanning to Columbia batters. Luke Wilson relieved him after three and was able to fan four.
Tullahoma earned the right to head to Columbia after winning the eastern division of the Little League regional last week in dominant style as they blanked Winchester in the opening round of divisional play, 10-0 and then beat Estill Springs 8-1. They claimed the division by run-ruling Estill in the divisional finals, 12-2.
Just as was the case in the opening game of their pair with Columbia, Tullahoma allowed their hosts to get out to an early lead with Columbia plating two in the first and five in the second before tacking on two in the top of the third before the Tullahoma bats got going. Down 9-0 in the bottom of the third, Tullahoma came to life with a five-run inning. Case Davis, Beaux Saunders and Brodie Howard all had two hits with Elijah Alexander and Kevin Maloney leading Tullahoma by plating two runs apiece. Tullahoma actually outhit Columbia 12 to 10 but, like in their first meeting, also committed four errors.
While seeing a ray of light at the end of the tunnel after five, Tullahoma would not plate another run until the bottom of the final inning when they put up two to make the final 11-8.
Brodie Howard started on the hill for Tullahoma and surrendered four earned runs while fanning two. Alexander relieved him and surrendered four earned runs while fanning two.