VALDOSTA -- Chalk up another state championship for the Valdosta Boys Club.
Valdosta defeated Toccoa 10-7 to claim the Dixie Pre-Majors state baseball championship Wednesday at Valdosta High's Bazemore Field.
Valdosta will be the Georgia representative at the Dixie Pre-Majors (16-under) World Series, which begins July 27 in Guntersville, Ala.
"I don't really know what to say," Valdosta head coach Charlie Stokes said. "These kids played good, solid baseball this week, and it paid off. They have been working hard since (June).
"This is great for them."
Valdosta broke a 4-4 tie with four runs in the sixth inning, three on Shawn Riddle's home run, then added three more in the seventh for the win.
Zack Millsaps opened the sixth with a single. Robbie Petit followed with a line drive double into the left-center field gap, scoring pinch runner Cam Newmans. Brandon Waller sacrificed and Derek Newhan walked, bringing up Riddle.
Toccoa pitcher Steve Cogswell got a pitch over the middle, and Riddle crushed it over the fence in left, giving his team an 8-4 lead.
Toccoa, however, shot back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, on consecutive Cogswell and Casey Brown doubles, making it 8-7.
"That group was a talented team," Stokes said. "But (our team) seemed rose to the occasion against them."
With the tying run on second, Riddle got Jared Vermilya to line out to Luke Selph at short.
Valdosta then gave Riddle two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Millsaps singled, Petit reached on an error and Newhan walked to load the bases. Toccoa got the second out, a force at the plate, but then Cogwell's pitch got by catcher Tony Cash, and Petit raced home. Selph then hit a routine ground ball to short, but it was booted by Toccoa's Daniel Griffin, scoring Newhan.
Riddle then set down Toccoa in the seventh, and the state championship was Valdosta's.
"These kids worked hard and earned it," Stokes said.
The first two innings were scoreless. Then in the bottom of the third, Toccoa scored three runs, all with two outs.
But Valdosta shot back with its own three-run inning in the top of the fourth. Selph opened with a single, and scored when Brandon Smith followed with a double. Then Cory Nichols' grounder got by the first baseman, scoring Smith. Two outs later, Petit singled under a diving second baseman, and the game was tied.
The teams traded runs in the fifth, Selph scoring on Nichols single and Toccoa's Brown scoring on a sacrifice fly. That set the stage for Valdosta's late-inning heroics.
Valdosta went undefeated in the tournament.
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