Near no-hitter as Tift County wins over West Laurens

Apr. 3—TIFTON — Everything worked for the Tift County Blue Devils Tuesday night as they got an early start on a trip to Panama City Beach, Florida. Landon Parrish had a four-hit day. Tyler VanSumeren and John Dorman nearly combined for a no-hitter. Oh, and the Blue Devils blew past West Laurens in five innings, 10-0.

All of it looked good to head coach Greg Williams, who thought his team came in with a bit of attitude after two tough losses last week at Houston County.

"That's what you get when you have a bunch of kids with a bad taste in their mouth," said Williams. Their determination didn't take long, only 90 minutes to completely overwhelm West Laurens.

Tift cranked out 11 hits in five frames, five of them for extra bases.

The Raiders, who lead Region 2-4A with an 8-0 mark, came to Tifton with a six-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 68-5 in that span. They couldn't match up with the Devils, who scored six times in the 2nd frame alone.

Moretz opened the game by reaching no an error, quickly joined on the bases by Parrish and Mac Brooks. VanSumeren walked, scoring Moretz. That was the locals' only run of the 1st. The floodgates soon opened.

Parrish tripled in Luke Ellerbee and Moretz with one down in the 2nd, then scored on John Davis' sacrifice fly. The inning was only getting started.

Brooks and VanSumeren reached, then pulled off a double steal. Dorman doubled down the third base line, bringing home both. Cam Smith plated Dorman when he doubled down the right field line, increasing the score to 7-0.

West Laurens got out of the 3rd with only a single by Parrish. Brooks started off the 4th with a triple, with VanSumeren picking up an RBI on a sac fly. Had it not been for the run rule, the 5th was shaping up to be another explosion.

Ellerbee dumped a single over first base, then scored all the way from first on a Moretz rocket past shortstop. Parrish ended the game with a liner up the middle.

West Laurens' lone hit was a double by Grant Baker with two outs in the 5th inning. Other than that, the Raiders walked three times, one of which was wiped out on a 5-4-3 double play.

Both VanSumeren and Dorman were cooking, catching the visitors looking and swinging eight times. Dorman's stuff was so nasty that both of his strikeouts were on balls in the dirt, necessitating Smith to throw down to VanSumeren at first for the outs.

From here, Tift will play a pair of Kentucky schools in PCB, Owensboro Catholic and Frederick Douglass.