The wins just keep coming for Hamilton West Side.
Braedyn Moore and Lake Cundiff combined on a three-hitter, while the female tandem of Katelyn Polido and Jaycee Taylor collected four hits and three RBIs, as Hamilton spanked Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores (Mich.) 10-2 in the Little League Great Lakes Regional on Monday morning.
“I just hope we continue what we’re doing,” West Side coach Ken Coomer said. “We feel good. Tim (Nichting) and I have been here before, and we know what it’s all about. We just don’t want to get too confident. We’ve still got to work hard.”
Hamilton improved to 2-0 in regional 12-year-old baseball play at Grand Park Sports Campus and is two victories away from the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.
Moore pitched five-plus innings and struck out eight before reaching the 85-pitch limit. Cundiff had a strikeout and retired all three batters he faced.
“I tried my best to throw strikes,” Moore said. “The curveball was very consistent with the strike. Fastball … I need to get that down. Got to live low, live long.”
West Side pulled away with nine runs in its last three at-bats and advanced to a 2 p.m. Wednesday contest against Hinsdale (Ill.), a 5-2 winner over Lexington Eastern (Ky.) on Monday afternoon.
Polido stung Grosse Pointe with three singles, three runs and an RBI in the No. 2 spot in the order. Taylor came off the bench and launched a two-run homer in the fourth (she also walked).
“I watched them yesterday, and they both stroked the ball really well,” Grosse Pointe coach Jason Hill said of Hamilton’s two girls. “They’re here for a reason. They obviously can play.”
REGIONAL GAME 1: Hamilton West Side 22, Wausau National (Wis.) 4
Taylor, a left-handed batter, went the other way with a Will Pflaum pitch for her home run.
“Just before I came up to the plate, I had this feeling in me that I was going to hit one,” Taylor said. “It was a fastball, a little bit high and outside. It felt good off the bat, but I wasn’t for sure if it was going to make its way over.”
“Taylor’s a strong Little League player, boy or girl,” Coomer said. “We know what she can do. We’ve just got to get it out of her sometimes. We knew it was going to happen sooner or later where she was going to get ahold of one.”
Polido is 6-for-8 in the regional, while Taylor is 2-for-4. Do the girls have something to prove when playing with the boys?
“It doesn’t matter either way,” Taylor said. “You just come out there and play if you’re a girl or a boy.”
West Side got a pair of RBIs from Cundiff and one apiece from Moore and Casey Parsons.
The winners had nine hits against Grosse Pointe pitchers Joey Randazzo, Pflaum and Drew Hill. Randazzo threw the first three innings and took the loss.
“That team was good,” Coomer said. “They were big, strong and athletic. We knew we had to hit. Honestly, we got out of a couple tough situations. We were able to wiggle out of it when they had some scoring opportunities.
“Moore had a little trouble locating the fastball today. (The home-plate umpire) wasn’t giving us the corners, so we had to rely more on his breaking ball. He did a great job keeping the ball in the ballpark. When they did hit it, it was on the ground for the most part. Davis Avery helped with some nice plays at short.”
Grosse Pointe piled up 47 home runs during 10 district/state games. Jack Jones paced the Michigan champions with a double, a single and an RBI on Monday, and Jordan Arseneau also plated a run.
Jason Hill credited Moore for keeping his crew off balance.
“He has a nice, tight, late-breaking curveball/slider, whatever you want to call it,” Hill said. “Our kids had trouble recognizing it, and that led to a lot of our problems at the plate. I think we were very defensive swingers today.
“It’s the first time we’ve lost in the tournament, and it was a humbling experience. We ran into a buzz saw. Their coaching staff and their kids were ready to go this morning and we weren’t. Not to take anything away from them because they played a very, very good game, but we certainly weren’t at our best today.
“It’s not an ideal position in the losers’ bracket, but we’re pretty deep on the mound and can score some runs. We’re certainly built for going down in the losers’ bracket and maybe making a little run to get to Saturday.”
Grosse Pointe will play New Albany (Ind.) in an elimination game Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Grosse Pointe 010-100—2-3-3
West Side 103-24x—10-9-3
WP — Braedyn Moore; LP — Joey Randazzo; HR — WS: Jaycee Taylor