McALESTER — With the fourth day of the Jr. Sunbelt Classic baseball tournament finishing Monday, Texas clearly looked like the team to beat. The boys in black and white run-ruled Georgia to improve to 5-0 and stay perfect in the tournament.
“This is a great baseball atmosphere,” Texas coach Lou Kosanovich said. “You can’t help but play well. ... This town is, in my estimation, second only to Cooperstown.”
Cooperstown, N.Y., is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Georgia kept its hopes of playing for a championship alive with a run-rule win against Oklahoma Gold. Georgia led Tennessee by half a game Monday, but Tennessee holds the tiebreaker over Georgia and has one more game than Georgia left during pool play.
Who’ll grab that second spot in the championship remains unknown. But whoever it’ll be, to win a championship that team will most likely have to go through the very dominant team from Texas.
Texas 13, Georgia 5
Texas and Georgia traded high-scoring innings early, but Texas’ pitchers eventually found a way to quiet Georgia’s bats.
Georgia’s pitchers couldn’t do the same, and a two-run game midway through the second inning turned into a blowout just three innings later.
Jake Edwards’ grand slam home run in the first inning highlighted a hard-hitting day for Team Texas, which run-ruled Georgia 13-5 in five innings Monday at Mike Deak Field in McAlester.
Texas outscored its first five Sunbelt opponents by a combined score of 39-14, with five-run average margin of victory.
“Individually, they’re a good bunch of guys,” Kosanovich said. “And as a team, they’re gelling a little bit, as you can see. So that’s all I can ask.”
Georgia’s bats struck first Monday, with Braden Zarbnisky singling to lead off the game and scoring three batters later on Adam Sasser’s two-run home run. But Michael Smith answered with a leadoff bunt single for Texas in the bottom of the first, then stole second and beat the tag at third on a grounder by Nate Miranda to put runners at the corners.