Northern falls in pool play opener at SE Regional

Taylors Northwood LL (SC) 3, Northern 2

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (WTVM) - A sixth inning comeback fell short at the Northern All-Stars lost to Taylors Northwood, S.C. 3-2 on Friday in their opening game at the Little League Southeast Regional in Warner Robins.

Trent Grantham's sacrifice fly in the sixth brought home Austin Hicks to cut the deficit to 3-2, but Northern was unable to muster any more offense after that. In fact, Northern managed only one base hit all afternoon.

Hicks had a sacrifice fly in the third inning for Northern's other run.

Northwood took the early lead with two runs in the third inning, then added what proved to be a needed insurance run in the fifth.

"I don't know if it was a little nerves today or whatever," Northern manager Randy Morris said. "The pitching was good, too many errors, and just didn't put the ball in play enough."

Third baseman Ben Sloan was upbeat.

"This game, it's just one game," said Sloan. "We just need to figure on the next one. We still have a very big chance. We're a very good team, and I think we can do it."

Northern faces the North Carolina state champs, Myers Park Trinity, at 7 p.m. on Saturday night. They wrap up pool play on Monday at 4 p.m. versus Martin County North, Fla.

The top two teams in pool play from each pool advance to the semifinals on Wednesday, with the championship game on Friday.

The region champ advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

The Georgia state champ has gone to the LLWS five of the past seven years. Northern has made the trip twice, winning the world championship in 2006, and making it to the nation's final four in 2010. Both of those teams were managed by Randy Morris.