Ben Pickman struck out 12 and did not allow a run after the first inning as the South Nashville All-Stars advanced to championship game of Little League Baseball’s Southeast Region with a 5-1 victory over Marin County North (Fla.) on Wednesday at Warner Robins, Ga.
South Nashville needs one more victory to become the second Middle Tennessee team in as many years to make the 16-team field at Williamsport, Pa., the first since 1970 from within Nashville. It faces either Virginia or South Carolina, 7 p.m. Friday in a game that will be shown live on ESPN.
Goodlettsville won the Southeast Region last summer, then won the U.S championship and played in the ultimate contest at Wiliamsport, Pa.
Pickman allowed a two-out home run to Tibur Rivero in the bottom of the first then limited Florida to five hits the rest of the way. He was one shy of the 85-pitch limit when he allowed a two-out single in the sixth but struck out the next batter.
South Nashville went ahead to stay with two runs in the second, added another run in the third and two more in the fifth. It also took advantage of five Marin County errors. Christopher McElvain had two hits, and Knox Preston drove in two runs.