West Side Little League All Stars fall in state tourney, still one win away from title

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Hamilton team faces Tuscararwas County on Wednesday for championship

The West Side Little League All-Stars bid for a state title hit a snag on Tuesday.

West Side advanced to the 12-and-under state final as the winners bracket champion Monday with a 15-5 win over New Albany in Ironton. But the Hamilton team suffered its first loss of the tournament Tuesday, a 5-1 setback to Tuscarawas County, to set up a rematch between the two teams at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the double-elimination event.

West Side opened the tournament with a 7-3 win over Jefferson on Saturday and Tuscarawas County 9-5 on Sunday.

A win Wednesday for West Side locks up the organization’s 10th state title in 12 years at this age group.

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In Monday’s win, Gavin Saylor and Chance Retherford were among the leaders on offense with Saylor batting 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored and Retherford going 3-for-3 with three RBIs, a walk and two runs. J.J. Vogel went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored, Cooper Clay was 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored and Krew Brown also had multiple hits with a 2-for-4 outing, scoring twice.

Levi Smith got the win on the mound, allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits with six strikeouts over three innings. Retherford pitched two innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on two hits over two innings.

The winner of the state tournament represents Ohio in the double-elimination Great Lakes Regional Tournament. The Ohio champion opens play Aug. 8 in Whitestown, Ind., against the winner from Kentucky on ESPN+. That is the final stage before the Little League World Series.

West Side last went to Williamsport in 2010. The team fell short in the Great Lakes Regional in 2019.