PAINESVILLE — Galion head coach Jason McMullen said Monday morning that he believed his ballclub would bounce back from a tough loss to Hamilton West Side in the Ohio 12U Little League State Tournament.
Led by a huge performance by Kurtis Reid, Hamilton rolled past Galion 16-0 on Sunday afternoon in at the Kiwanis Recreation Park in Painesville. Reid hit four home runs — including two grand slams — and had 11 RBI.
“We ran into a very talented, hot player,” McMullen said. “Hat’s off to Hamilton. They played great. Our guys have played a lot of baseball and every once in a while you have a game like that. But our guys were in good spirits after the game and we’ll shake that off and come back with a good game against Maumee.”
And that’s exactly what Galion did on Monday afternoon, knocking Maumee out of the tournament by virtue of a 10-0 victory in four innings.
“We got off to a bit of a slow start,” McMullen said Monday evening in the wake of the victory. “Their pitcher was doing a good job, throwing a lot of off-speed. It was a 2-0 game going into the fourth and then we really got it going.”
Caden Armstrong hit a grand slam home run in what turned out to be an eight-run fourth inning for Galion. Owen Mullins belted a pair of home runs, a solo shot in the second inning and a three-run blast in the fourth. Seth Shumate had a RBI double in the fourth inning. Galion finished nine hits.
“It was great to get three home runs tonight and really see the power come out,” McMullen said.
Armstrong tossed a one-hitter, struck out seven batters and issued no walks.
“He threw really well tonight, really well,” McMullen said. “He was just rock solid on the night. The velocity was there. His off-speed was just about untouchable. It set the tone, really, the way he was throwing. We had to leave him a little longer than we planned because it was only 2-0 in the second.”
Galion (1-1 in the state tournament) will face New Albany on Tuesday in Painesville. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
New Albany (1-1) eliminated Washington Court House from the tournament with a 12-2 win on Monday to rebound from an 11-6 loss to Canfield on Saturday.
McMullen said he believes the Galion team is now poised for a run of success in the state tournament.
“We really feel confident going in tomorrow against New Albany,” he said. “We get a day’s rest, hopefully, on Wednesday and then come back on Thursday. Our goal, we set down tonight before we started playing, was to be playing in the championship game, hopefully against Hamilton and get another shot at them.”
Galion will have to win four more games to reach the championship game, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2.
Hamilton West Side (2-0) is scheduled to play Mount Vernon (1-0) in one of two winner’s bracket games on Wednesday. The other game features North Canton (1-0) against Cuyahoga Falls North (2-0).
Ohio 12U Little League Baseball Tournament
Kiwanis Recreation Park, Painesville
Galion 10, Maumee 0
New Albany 12, Washington Court House 2
Wheelersburg v. Geneva, no report
Galion v. New Albany, 5 p.m.
Canfield v. Wheelersburg/Geneva winner, 7:30 p.m.
Mount Vernon v. Hamilton West Side, 5 p.m.
North Canton v. Cuyhoga Falls North, 7:30 p.m.
Andrew Carter can be reached at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048. Connect with him on Twitter @ACGalionSports.