Tullahoma erupted for 15 runs in the bottom of the third on their way to routing Winchester 22-3 in the finals of 10U Little League Tournament this past week, sending the squad on to the region finals in Columbia this weekend.
It was a win or go home scenario as the rain lifted this past week just in time to allow the rubber match of the Tullahoma-Winchester series that began with Tullahoma claiming a 20-10 victory in their first meeting last weekend only to be clipped by host Winchester, 14-12, which emerged to gain some revenge from the loser’s bracket where Tullahoma had placed them after their first meeting. Winchester had rebounded to get a second shot at Tullahoma by beating Estill Springs 14-3 in the loser’s bracket. Estill Springs found themselves in the loser’s bracket courtesy of Tullahoma which beat them 19-12.
Winchester forced the deciding third game with Tullahoma despite being outhit in the semi-final 12 to 7. A late rally which saw Winchester plate six in the fourth and seven in the fifth to overcome a 5-1 deficit.
There would be no such comeback in the rubber match as Winchester found itself in a 7-0 hole after two innings. The third inning would get even worse as they surrendered 15 runs to make the score 22-0. Their three fourth inning runs served as window dressing as the game was stopped on the run mercy rule after the top of the fourth. The win means Tullahoma is the eastern division champion of the 10U league and will get to play for the region title against the western division’s best this weekend.
Elijah Austell led the way for Tullahoma as he was a perfect four-for-four at the plate and scored four runs while batting in four more. Colin Hammock was also perfect at-bat, going three-for-three and scoring three runs.
Javian Sheffield worked three innings on the mound for Tullahoma in the win, fanning five Winchester batters while giving five free passes. Twenty-eight of his 60 pitches on the night were strikes. Elijah Baugh came in for relief and worked an inning.