PAINESVILLE — Hamilton West Side scored 14 runs in the fourth inning and rolled to a 21-1 victory over Galion in the Ohio 12U Little League State Tournament on Saturday.
Hamilton West Side (4-1) will now face North Canton (3-0) at 2 p.m. Sunday in the state championship game at Kiwanis Recreation Park in Painesville. Hamilton must defeat North Canton twice to win the state title. North Canton edged Hamilton, 2-1, in seven innings on Thursday.
The winner will represent Ohio at the Great Lakes Regional Tournament, Aug. 9-15 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Carson Haynes hit a three-run home run and Kurtis Reid belted a solo homer to help pace the Hamilton attack. Haynes finished with six RBI.
Reid hit a total of five home runs in two games against Galion at the state tournament. He had four round-trippers and 11 RBI in a 16-0 win in the first game between the two sides.
Erika Scott and Max Lauer each had a two-run double for Hamilton, and Gage Dermon, Jackson Lewis, Ryan Kirkendall and Devin Fath also drove in runs.
Carter Valentine and Brody Symsick combined to account for Galion’s only run of the game in the third inning. Valentine hit a one-out double and scored on Symsick’s ground out to third that cut the Hamilton lead to 7-1.
Fath was the starting pitcher for Hamilton West Side and earned the win. He held Galion without a hit until Valentine’s double in the third. Fath left the game after throwing just 20 pitches. He is eligible to pitch against North Canton on Sunday.
Owen Mullins started the game for Galion. He worked into the top of the fourth inning before being replaced by Spencer Keller. Mullins threw 87 pitches. Wilson Frankhouse also pitched for Galion.
Hamilton West Side got off to a quick start and took a 6-0 lead after one inning of play. After a quiet second inning, each side scored a run in the third, which saw Hamilton maintain its six-run lead.
The Butler County ballclub blew the game open in the top of the fourth with its 14-run explosion. Lauer, who replaced Fath in the third inning, retired Galion in order in the bottom of the fourth inning to end the game.
Galion finished the tournament with a 4-2 record. After the opening loss to Hamilton West Side, Galion posted four consecutive victories over Maumee (10-0), New Albany (5-4), Cuyahoga Falls North (6-2) and Mount Vernon (12-0), to work its way back into the chase the for the state championship.