Worth routs Americus in key Region 1-AAA game

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

SYLVESTER -- The ol' bender was working for Corey Odom on Friday night.

Matter of fact, it's been the Worth County southpaw's out pitch since he was barely old enough to pull the string on a curve.

"I was about seven or eight when I first started throwing a curveball," said Odom, who was first shown the pitch by Demp Posey, father of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.

Odom's curve befuddled Americus-Sumter at Pope Field for six innings in Worth's 10-0 win against the Panthers. The victory moves the Rams to 3-1 in Region 1-AAA and a tie for second place with Cairo, which lost to Crisp Friday, 7-2, in a match of region unbeatens.

Odom's six-inning shutout Friday included eight strikeouts. He allowed three hits and walked two.

"That's Corey's game," Worth County head coach Will Smith said of his junior lefthander's pitcher. "Corey's game is to keep you off balance and hit his spots. That's what he did (Friday) and that's what he's done since he started last year."

Odom threw 89 pitches in the win, improving the Rams' overall record to 10-6 on the season. Worth has won five of its last six heading into Monday's non-region contest at home against Baconton Charter.

While Odom cruised with his three-pitch repertoire of fastball, curve and changeup, the Rams' sticks put runs on the board in every inning. Brandon Weaver opened the onslaught with a 2-run homer to center scoring Ryan Hickox. Odom followed from the other side of the plate with a solo shot to go back-to-back off Americus-Sumter starter Mike Russell.

Weaver, the Rams' junior catcher, now has six homers on the season, while Odom's bomb was his third.

"I wanted to feel that, too," Odom said of following's Weaver's blast and trying to catch his catcher's home run total. "We really don't have a competition. We just like to jog around the bases."

Worth stole eight bases Friday, moving station-to-station, and scoring on two groundouts and a passed ball to build a 6-0 lead before Eli Reddell's single turned into a double on a Panthers error and scored Luke Powell for a 7-0 lead in the third.

Hickox, who went 2-for-2 with two RBI and reached in all four plate appearances, had a single and a double in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to drive in runs.

Odom went 2-for-3, while Will Peacock, Marlin Hall each added RBI for the Rams. Americus (3-12, 2-3 Region 1-AAA) was limited to three singles by Darante Jordan, Dillon Hughes and Cameron Smarr.

The Panthers next host Westover on Tuesday.

Smith said he plans to put Peacock (5-1) on the mound Tuesday when the Rams go to Cairo for a huge region game.