CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCT) — One step closer.
The Greenville Tar Heel 10-12 year-old Little League baseball team won the state championship on Thursday night, beating Winston-Salem National, 3-2, at Randolph Park in Charlotte. The win puts Tar Heel, which has not lost in postseason play, in the Southeast Regional in Warner Robbins Ga. That tournament runs Aug. 6-11.
The winner of the Southeast Regional advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., which runs Aug. 19-29. Greenville Little League has had two teams advance to the Little League World Series, North State in 2017 and Tar Heel in 1998.
This is Tar Heel’s 11th 10-12 year-old state title and 28th state title in Greenville history in all age groups. This is the first time since 2017 that Greenville has won all three age division state titles in the same year. Tar Heel won the ages 8-10 state tournament Wednesday in Wilson while the North State 9-11 year-olds won the state crown in Charlotte on Tuesday. Those two age groups don’t advance past state play.
Tar Heel took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Webb Evans drilled home a run with an RBI single that scored Rooke Knittle, who opened the game with a double. Winston-Salem responded with a run in the second after scoring on a close play at home plate then took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on a hit by Gabe Dybler that drove in a run.
Tar Heel took the lead for good in the fifth. Aiden Coats singled and moved to second on a bunt single by Sully Cobb. A walk to Knittle loaded the bases before a double play nearly killed a scoring opportunity.
Parker Simo then doubled to left to drive in two runs for a 3-2 lead. Tar Heel’s defense recorded the three outs to Winston-Salem National in the top of the sixth to set off the celebration.