Hamilton West Side's postseason is still alive, but the local baseball all-stars clearly took a bruising Monday afternoon.
Hamilton West Side’s postseason is still alive, but the local baseball all-stars clearly took a bruising Monday afternoon.
Eliminated by Bowling Green East in last year’s International Little League Great Lakes Regional, Hamilton was seeking some revenge against the Kentucky state champions.
It didn’t happen.
Devin Obee smoked a home run to start the game and Bowling Green rolled to an 11-1, four-inning triumph at the Reuben F. Glick Little League Center’s Ferguson Field.
“We just didn’t have a good day, period,” said West Side coach Tim Nichting, whose squad was coming off a 15-8 first-round victory over Essexville-Hampton (Mich.) on Sunday night.
“We went and hit earlier this morning. Maybe we hit too much because we didn’t get to bed until 11:30 last night. They looked a little tired, but they’re 12-year-old kids. They should have enough energy to play baseball all day in my eyes.”
Hamilton managed four hits against Bowling Green pitchers Isaiah Head, Carson Myers and Obee.
Cayden Evans had a double and two walks, Landyn Vidourek doubled and walked, and Brady Imhoff and Jordan Jones added singles.
Jones scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning, but West Side left the bases loaded and stranded seven runners overall.
“If there’s anything positive to come out of it, we battled, and we’ll battle tomorrow too,” Nichting said. “We need to come out and show a little heart.”
Hamilton will meet Streator (Ill.) in an 11 a.m. elimination game today at Ferguson Field. The Illinois squad dropped a 4-2 decision to Kenosha American (Wis.) on Sunday.
“We took visitors, so I’m thinking Maddox Pennington will start the game and we’ll go from there and hopefully save a little pitching for this long haul ahead,” Nichting said.
Little League rules prohibit players from speaking to the media after a defeat, so Nichting came to the interview room alone.
Of course, there wasn’t much to say about the blowout. Bowling Green is the defending regional champion and looks like a team that wants to go back to the World Series.
“That is sort of the way you draw it up,” BG coach Rick Kelley said. “It helped us to get the jitters out and get that first game under our belt. I was really proud of the way we played. We’ve been playing really well coming into the tournament, and our practices have been really good.”
Head, throwing 70-plus miles per hour, struck out five and gave up two hits in 2.1 innings to get the win.
“You can’t take anything away from Kentucky,” Nichting said. “It’s kind of hard to make a lot of excuses when a kid’s out there throwing 74.”
Obee added a double and an intentional walk to his home run, notching three runs and two RBIs. Spencer Newman went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs, and John Guthrie plated a pair of runs.
Losing pitcher Micaden Stephens threw 50 pitches and 1.1 innings for Hamilton. Vidourek, Matthew Goll and Jacob Harmon also did some mound work.
Bowling Green has three players back from last year’s team: Obee, Newman and Myers.
Of Obee’s leadoff homer, a no-doubter to center field, Kelley said, “He’s such a strong and powerful kid. I like to put him in the leadoff spot to do some of those things. He definitely can make a statement in that position.”
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