NORTH CANTON — The Washington C.H. 12u All-Stars were coming off a tough 6-3 loss to New Albany when they returned to action in the State Little League tournament Monday, July 23, in North Canton.
After going 0-2 at State in 2016 and again last year, in close, competitive games, Washington C.H. was determined to get a coveted win, going up against Mount Vernon.
Washington C.H. used an excellent pitching performance from Brady Armstrong and Coleden May, allowing just three hits, in a 6-4 victory.
That win advanced them to the game against Gallion, but, more about that a bit later.
Washington C.H. had eight hits and played much-improved defense after Saturday’s 6-3 loss to New Albany, committing but one error.
Mount Vernon had three errors in the game.
Armstrong started and pitched four innings, facing one batter in the fifth before being lifted for May.
Armstrong allowed two hits and three runs (all earned) with five walks and five strikeouts.
May pitched two innings with one hit, one run (earned), no walks and three strikeouts.
After spotting Mount Vernon a run in the top of the first, Washington C.H. was quick to tie the game in their first at-bat.
John Wall singled and later scored on a single by Justin Robinson, who drove in five of the team’s six runs.
Mount Vernon recaptured the lead with a run in the top of the second.
Washington C.H. took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the second.
Hunter Allen singled and Bryce Yeazel hit into a fielder’s choice.
Will Miller walked and Wall singled, scoring Yeazel.
Robinson followed with a double that scored Miller and Wall, making it 4-2, Washington C.H.
Washington C.H. scored two key insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Gabe Wightman singled to lead off. After the next two batters were retired, Wall walked and Robinson smacked a double to plate Wightman and Wall.
Mount Vernon scored two in the fifth, as it turned out, the final two runs of the game as Washington C.H. secured the victory, 6-4.
“District 5, which Mount Vernon represented, is always tough,” Washington C.H. manager Ryan May said. “Our kids pitched well.
“One of the keys was our defense,” May said. “The kids did a great job of handling the baseball. And we had quality at-bats.
“Our kids really wanted to get a win,” May said. “Mount Vernon was a good team. Obviously, we feel we’re a good team, too.
“And, Mount Vernon won a game,” May said. “They run-ruled District 1 (Jefferson). They were no pushover. It was a battle.”
There were two lightning delays during the game, May noted.
“Our kids had quality at-bats,” May said. “They were not intimidated. I was proud of them. One thing I preached to this team was that they were to represent Little League and represent their community and their parents. We wanted to make sure they would represent all of these things to the fullest and they did that.
“My kids did their best, as a 12-year-old can do, to represent Fayette County and Washington Little League,” May said. “They really made me proud.
“They did a fine job that day,” May said. “They came to play baseball and it showed, because Mount Vernon was a good team.”
Editor’s note: New Albany, the team that Washington C.H. led at one point, 3-1, has advanced all the way to the State championship game Saturday.
On Friday night, Boardman (District 2) played Hamilton West Side (District 9) to advance to the championship. The winner of that game would have to beat New Albany twice to win the State title and move on to represent Ohio in the Little League Regional tournament.
Offensively for Washington C.H.: John Wall, 2-2, 1 bb, 3 runs, 1 rbi; Justin Robinson, 3-3, 1 2b, 5 rbi; Brady Armstrong, 1-3, 1 2b, 1 rbi; Isaiah Haithcock, 1-2, 1 bb; Coleden May, 0-2, fc; Evan Lynch, 0-1, fc; Hunter Allen, 1-2; Bryce Yeazel, 0-1, fc, 1 run; Will Miller, 0-0, 1 bb, 1 run; Luke Crabtree, 0-1; Gabe Wightman, 1-1, 1 run; Corbin Melvin, 0-1; Hunter Hinkley, 0-1.
MV 110 020 — 4 3 3
W 130 20x — 6 8 1
Washington C.H. All-Stars fall to Gallion
On Tuesday, July 24, the local all-stars took on Gallion.
Gallion won this game, 23-4 in five innings.
Gallion scored four runs in the first and led the entire game.
Washington C.H. scored one run in the first and three in the fourth.
“Gallion could just flat-out hit the ball (as well as) anyone at State,” May said.
Offensively for Washington C.H., John Wall singled and scored; Justin Robinson had two hits, including a double; Isaiah Haithcock had two hits and a fielder’s choice; Evan Lynch had one hit; Luke Crabtree had a single; Hunter Allen had a fielder’s choice; Hunter Hinkley hit a single and Will Miller had one walk.
In the fourth inning, Lynch, Hinkley and Corbin Melvin each scored.
Washington used seven pitchers in the game: Wall, Bryce Yeazel, Lynch, Melvin, Crabtree, Hinkley and Miller.
G 453 1(10)x — 23 16 –
W 100 30x — 4 8 –
For the record, here are the other scores of the previous four games for this group at State the past two seasons: Cambridge 7, Washington C.H. 6; Bellevue 9, Washington C.H. 7; Boardman 11, Washington C.H. 1; Elyria 14, Washington C.H. 4