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Georgia team wins title with big homer

Carriker's blast gives Warner Robins a 3-2 victory in eight innings over Tokyo in Little League World Series.

August 27, 2007|From the Associated Press

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Dalton Carriker couldn't feel his legs as he rounded the bases.

His home run in the bottom of the eighth inning had just given Warner Robins, Ga., a thrilling 3-2 victory over Tokyo to win the Little League World Series title.

"I felt like I was flying, like Peter Pan," Carriker said. "I didn't know what I was doing."

Adrenaline took over from there, said the 12-year-old slugger with braces.

His dramatic home run over the right-field wall off a 2-1 pitch from Japan's Junsho Kiuchi gave the United States three straight Little League championships.

"USA! USA!" cried the partisan crowd as dozens of fans waved American flags. Columbus, Ga., won the crown last year, and Ewa Beach, Hawaii, won in 2005.

"They're not greedy kids," relieved Manager Mickey Lay said. "They just enjoy playing the game. That's something that we miss sometimes."

They sure had fun after Carriker's homer. The jubilant players from Warner Robins hugged him as he reached the plate. Lay joined his team in celebration following a tense game marked by excellent pitching.

Georgia reliever Kendall Scott struck out 10 and allowed one hit over five-plus innings to quiet Japan's bats after Georgia fell behind 2-0 early.

Scott left the game in the top of the eighth, with Zane Conlon getting the last out.

That set up Carriker's game-winning homer. The slugger, hitting .769 entering Sunday's game, was 0 for 2 with a walk when he came up in the eighth.

His opposite-field shot easily cleared the right-field fence 225 feet away from the plate.

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