Ken Coomer felt a good week of hitting practice would help his Hamilton West Side all-stars move past a string of slow starts.
He was right and then some Sunday afternoon.
West Side scored in every inning but the sixth and led 10-0 in the third inning against host Maumee before securing a 13-4 victory in the Ohio Little League 12-year-old baseball tournament at Ford Park’s Robert S. Hoag Field.
“It starts from B-Moore. A lot of times when he leads, they follow,” Coomer said of leadoff hitter Braedyn Moore, who slapped a single up the middle to start the game and went 3-for-5 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs. “It was good to jump out early and build the confidence. We hit the home runs at the right times.”
Hamilton took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and put up a seven-spot in the second, with Moore and Lake Cundiff both launching three-run homers.
“It felt really good,” Cundiff said of his shot to center field that extended the lead to 9-0. “I knew if they gave me a first-pitch curveball … I would hit it. Me and my friend (Casey Parsons) are the only ones that are allowed to swing at those.”
“The defense and offense (were) working, we came out hitting … we just played a good game,” said Parsons, who contributed a pair of singles.
Moore, Ethan Mueller, Davis Avery and Parsons combined for a seven-hitter on the mound for West Side, which returns to Ford Park to meet Mount Vernon in a winners’ bracket semifinal at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Maumee is headed for an elimination game against Jefferson on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
“We made too many mistakes to beat a good baseball team,” Maumee coach L.J. Archambeau said. “I don’t care what level you’re at — 12-year-old baseball, 6-year-old baseball, major league baseball. If you give a good team extra outs, they’ll take advantage of it. We’ve got to play cleaner and protect the baseball much better, and we’ve got to attack with our pitchers a little bit better.”
Moore dominated in his two innings on the mound for Hamilton. He faced seven batters, allowed one hit and struck out six.
With a 10-0 lead, Coomer opted to lift Moore in favor of Mueller. Maumee touched Mueller for four runs in a third of an inning, including a two-run homer by Cody Keller, and stranded a pair of runners in the third.
“It was a little scary, but sometimes in this game you’ve got to gamble a little bit,” said Coomer, with Moore coming out at the 35-pitch threshold to keep him eligible to throw Tuesday. “Mueller had trouble throwing his curve for strikes. It happens, but I also felt like we’d score more runs. I feel like Moore’s one of the top pitchers in the state. He’s very hard to hit, especially when he gets his offspeed working.”
Avery threw 3.1 innings before Parsons came on to get the last out. Hamilton has all of its pitchers available for Tuesday’s affair, with Cundiff expected to start.
Michael Dembski started and was one of six pitchers for Maumee.
“We were trying to mix and match, trying to give them something different to look at,” Archambeau said. “If our front guy was throwing well, we probably would’ve stayed with him and then played it by ear. Them jumping out and hitting a couple balls hard against us changed things.
“Our kids will compete. Today’s a good example of where we don’t necessarily compete every pitch. That’s where it bites us in the butt against good baseball teams.”
Jacob Olszewski and Peyton Wegman drove in runs for Maumee.
Cundiff totaled four RBIs for West Side. Katelyn Polido and Blake Detherage both had two hits, with Detherage plating two runs. Avery and Jaycee Taylor chipped in run-scoring doubles, and Jackson Martin and Logan Bell added RBIs.
West Side 271-210—13-14-2
WP — Braedyn Moore; LP — Michael Dembski; HR — WS: Lake Cundiff, Moore; M: Cody Keller
State tournament schedule/results
Here is the schedule for the double-elimination Ohio Little League 12-year-old baseball tournament. All games will be played at Ford Park, Robert S. Hoag Field, 509 Ford St., Maumee.
Saturday, July 15
Maumee 11, Wheelersburg 1, four innings
Canfield 10, Avon 0, four innings
Washington Court House 1, Jefferson 0, seven innings
Mount Vernon 3, Galion 2
Sunday, July 16
Hamilton West Side 13, Maumee 4
Canfield 4, Dover 1
Olentangy Patriots 11, Washington Court House 1, four innings
Monday, July 17
Game 8 – Galion vs. Avon, 1 p.m.
Game 9 – Maumee vs. Jefferson, 3:30 p.m.
Game 10 – Wheelersburg vs. Washington Court House, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, July 18
Game 11 – Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 10:30 a.m.
Game 12 – Game 10 winner vs. Dover, 1 p.m.
Game 13 – Mount Vernon vs. Hamilton West Side, 3:30 p.m.
Game 14 – Canfield vs. Olentangy Patriots, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, July 19
Game 15 – Game 12 winner vs. Game 13 loser, 10:30 a.m.
Game 16 – Game 11 winner vs. Game 14 loser, 1 p.m.
Thursday, July 20
Game 17 – Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner, 10:30 a.m.
Game 18 – Game 15 winner vs. Game 16 winner, 1 p.m.
Friday, July 21
Game 19 – Game 18 winner vs. Game 17 loser, 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, July 22
Game 20 – Game 17 winner vs. Game 19 winner, 10:30 a.m.
Game 21 (if necessary) – Game 20 winner vs. Game 20 loser, 30 minutes after conclusion of first game