The USA Southeast champions from Rutherford County, North Carolina will play East champ Kennett Square, Pennsylvania for the USA championship of the Junior League Baseball World Series at 6 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Park in Taylor, Michigan.
North Carolina defeated the West champs from Encinitas, California in a 5-3 nailbiter on Friday night. The winner of Saturday’s game plays the International champion for the world title at noon on Sunday.
Tonight, North Carolina rallied from a 2-0 deficit. Riley Stanley knocked in the first run with a triple and scored the tying run. The Southeast champs went ahead for good with two runs in fourth and added another in the fifth. Bailey McGinnis threw four innings of relief, allowing just one run on one hit. California scored a run in the sixth inning to make it 5-3, but the rally was shut down by Kael Snethen in relief. The West champs threatened in the seventh. There were two runners on with two outs. Connor Blough singled to center, but a runner was thrown out trying to go from first to third base by Christian Hardin to end the game. By the way, Bailey and Christian were both celebrating their birthdays today. North Carolina is 2-1.
The loss eliminated California (2-2) from contention.