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