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SOUTH BOSTON -- Anyone with a kid, grandson, nephew, neighbor or good buddy on Carroll County’s 15-16s baseball team may want to start Googling Ozark, Alabama. As of Monday night, the team was that close to finding out about the town first-hand.
Carroll County edged Halifax County 1-0 in eight innings Monday to come within one game of winning the Dixie Pre-Majors state championship and earning a trip to that age group’s World Series, a 12-team tournament set to begin July 25 in Ozark, located about 75 miles south of Montgomery, Ala.
Entering Tuesday’s final day of play undefeated, Carroll needed to win just one of two games against Powhatan, a team it had already defeated 16-0 earlier in the tournament.
Carroll County found itself in such a position after posting a pair of impressive wins over host team and tournament favorite Halifax. Carroll allowed one run and four hits over 15 innings against its hosts, winning 7-1 on Friday and 1-0 on Monday.
The two teams went into the eighth inning in a scoreless tie Monday after Carroll left two runners stranded in the top of the seventh following a Blake Bowman fly-out to the fence in left. Anthony Rosenbaum retired Halifax County in order in the bottom of the seventh, after which Carroll got the breaks it had been needing. With one out in the eighth, Jordan Lamb reached on a throwing error and Craig Rosen was hit by a pitch, and Jordan Hawks loaded the bases with a sharp single to left. Dillon Bryant drove in the game’s only run by working to a full count and drawing a walk, forcing in Lamb.
Lee Underwood took over for Rosenbaum in the top of the eighth and got three ground ball outs to end it and earn the save. Rosenbaum picked up the win, allowing two hits and throwing around 80 pitches in 7 innings.
Underwood went the distance in Carroll’s opening-round game, a 7-1 win over Halifax. Underwood also gave up just two hits, allowing one unearned run. Carroll County took a 3-0 lead in the third inning and added four runs in the fifth as Lamb and Bryant had two hits apiece.
Saturday, Carroll County pounded Powhatan 16-0 in five innings, getting two hits each from Lamb, Rosen and Hawks, including a pair of doubles by Lamb.
Next up was a meeting with the last remaining unbeaten team in the field, and Carroll County found itself in a tight spot, trailing Goochland 4-2 after four innings on Sunday. Carroll jumped ahead 5-4 in the fifth and added four more runs in the seventh for a 10-4 win fueled by seven combined hits from Rosen and Lamb.