Little League state tournament: Northern opens with win over Warner Robins

The Columbus Northern Little League team jumped out to a big lead early and coasted to a 9-2 victory over Warner Robins on Sunday in the state tournament for the major baseball division.

Kobie Buglioli hit a three-run homer to right field in the first inning to give Northern a 3-0 lead. It was one of three homers Northern hit in the game.

Northern added a pair of runs in the second. Zac Cravens led off with a home run to left field. An out later, Jalen Latta doubled to left center. He stole third. After another out, Jacob Pate singled up the middle to drive in Latta for a 5-0 lead.

Pate started and went three scoreless innings to earn the win. He allowed three hits and struck out six.

“We played good, got timely hits in key at bats,” Northern manager Randy Morris said. “Tomorrow we have to play hard and smart, and see what happens.”

The format for the tournament has the 10 teams split into two pools. Each team plays the other four teams in its pool over a five-day period that ends Wednesday. The top two teams in each pool advance to a single-elimination final four with the semifinals Thursday and the championship game Friday.

Northern is 1-0 in Pool B, while Warner Robins is 1-1. Northern plays Brooks tonight at 7:30 p.m. Warner Robins plays Martinez-Evans at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday’s games in the tournament, which is being hosted by American Little League (Double Churches Road), were played in temperatures in the upper 90s.

Warner Robins didn’t get on the scoreboard until the bottom of the fifth. Dalton Gilliam reached when he was hit by a pitch with two outs. He later scored on Drew Martens’ single up the middle.

Northern blew the game open with four runs in the top of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Mathew Lang led off with a homer to left field. After Blake Hicks was hit by a pitch and Pate singled, Brandon Pugh, who went 3-for-4, doubled in both runners with a shot to left field.

Knox Carter walked and Buglioli was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Troy Gilliland singled in Northern’s final run for 9-1 lead.

Kyle Parry hit a homer to lead off the bottom of the sixth for Warner Robins.

Pate and Latta had two hits apiece for Northern.

Warner Robins’ Jake Fromm, who hit two homers in Saturday’s win over Brooks, missed Sunday’s game with an injured hand.


In the other Pool B game, Walton improved to 2-0 with its win over Brooks (0-2).

Trey Johnson gave Walton a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a leadoff homer.

Walton added a pair of runs in the fourth.

After Johnson reached on an error to lead off and Blake Heard walked, Jarrett Briscoe singled in Johnson. Heard scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.

Walton scored two more in the fifth.

Davis Wheeler singled and Andrew Robinson walked. After a groundout, Johnson hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Heard doubled in Walton’s final run.

Brooks scored its lone run on homer by Dane Bullock in the sixth. Bullock went 3-for-3.



Murphey Candler has scored 45 runs in its two victories.

Murphey Candler scored 18 runs on eight hits and seven walks in the first inning against Midway.

Tyler Reid struck out eight in four innings to earn the win.

Leading hitters for Murphey Chandler were Drew Barrows (4-for-5, 2HR 3R 5RBI), Stevie Gebhardt (4-for-4 HR 3R 4RBI), Jeffrey Seitz (3-for-3, 3R, 2RBI) and Griffin Kunkler (2-for-2, 2B, 4R, 2RBI).


Cartersville scored 10 runs on 11 hits in the third inning to improve to 1-1 in Pool A.

Jacob Woods pitched 2 1-3 innings and struck out for to pick up the win.

The leading litters for Cartersville were Trenton Frazier (2-for-3, 2B, 2R, 2RBI) and Bret Phinney (2-for-2, 3R, 3RBI)

Evan Vaughn (2-for-3, 2B, R RBI) led Bryan County in the loss.


at American Little League

Double Churches Road

Format: 10 teams are split into two pools. Each team plays the other four teams in its pool over a five-day period. The two teams with the best records in each pool advance to a single-elimination final four. The champion advances to the Southeast Regional in Warner Robins.

Pool B

All games on Field 2


Walton 2 0

Northern 1 0

Warner Robins 1 1

Martinez Evans 0 1

Brooks 0 2


Warner Robins 9, Brooks 6

Walton 8, Martinez-Evans 5


Columbus Northern 9, Warner Robins 2

Walton 5, Brooks 1


5:30 p.m. — Martinez-Evans vs. Warner Robins

7:30 p.m. — Brooks vs. Columbus Northern


5:30 p.m. — Martinez-Evans vs. Columbus Northern

7:30 p.m. — Walton vs. Warner Robins


5:30 p.m. — Brooks vs. Martinez-Evans

7:30 p.m. — Walton vs. Columbus Northern

Pool A

All games on Field 1


Murphey Candler 2 0

Toccoa 1 0

Cartersville 1 1

Midway 0 1

Bryan 0 2


Murphey Candler 20, Cartersville 9

Toccoa 10, Bryan 0


Murphey Candler 25, Midway 0

Cartersville 16, Bryan 4


5:30 p.m. — Toccoa vs. Murphey Candler

7:30 p.m. — Cartersville vs. Midway


5:30 p.m. — Toccoa vs. Midway

7:30 p.m. — Bryan vs. Murphey Candler


5:30 p.m. — Cartersville vs. Toccoa

7:30 p.m. — Bryan vs. Midway



TBD — Semifinal 1

TBD — Semifinal 2



TBD — Semifinal winners

Related stories from Columbus Ledger-Enquirer