The season came to an end for the Galion 11U Little League All-Stars on Aug. 5 at the state tournament.
Galion lost to eventual state champion Dover, 6-1, in a loser’s bracket game at Cederquist Park in Ashtabula. Despite the defeat, the orange and blue enjoyed a great postseason run this summer.
“I think the 11-year old group really made the most of their opportunity this year,” said head coach Joe Payne. “They played five games in four days at the state tournament, which was the most of any of the 11 districts in that time frame. We had several boys play through some injuries, which speaks volumes to the overall character and mentality of the team and Galion Youth Baseball in general.”
Galion (3-2 state tournament) went 1-1 on the first day of the state tournament, defeating Maumee, 6-4, but losing to Canfield, 11-1. The orange and blue bounced back with a huge win over Ashtabula, 16-6, to keep the title dream alive. Galion then defeated Mount Vernon, 7-2, to set up the final showdown with Dover.
After the win over Galion, Dover (6-1) defeated New Albany, 14-10, and knocked off Hamilton, 11-8, to reach the championship on Aug. 8 against unbeaten Canfield. Dover swept two games from Canfield, 10-0 and 6-3, to win the state title.
“Most of the boys in the 11-year old group have now been to two state tournaments and that experience will, hopefully, pay off next year for them,” said Payne. “I’ve coached a lot of the boys for four years and they are great kids and great ball players. We are all looking forward to getting back to state next season.”
The Galion 11U roster features Sam Albert, Hannif Donaldson, Alijah Evans, Lance Gregory, Carson McCleese, Nolan McKibben, Hudson Miller, Rece Payne, Jason Potter, Jackson Staton and Clayton Yost. James Payne and Brad McKibben are the assistant coaches for the Galion 11U team.
The Galion 11U All-Stars posted an undefeated record in district tournament play. Galion defeated Bellevue twice (7-0 and 3-2) and also knocked off Fremont twice (11-4 and 7-4) to earn a spot in the state tournament.
“This is the first year Galion has participated in the 11U District 7 tournament,” said Justin McMullen, president of Galion Youth Baseball. “It is exciting to see the success that group is having. Joe and Brad and James are great coaches and they have a talented team. GYB was able to add this all-star age division due to the growth and success of the league in the past few years. Being able to have an 11U all-star team is just another example of how the league is able to provide more opportunities for our kids to play baseball and learn valuable life lessons through the sport.”
Ohio 11U Little League State Tournament
Cederquist Park, Ashtabula
Galion 6, Maumee 4
Wheelersburg 6, Ashtabula 2
New Albany 10, Eaton 5
Hamilton 11, Avon 1
Canfield 11, Galion 1
Dover 14, Wheelersburg 2
New Albany 7, Mount Vernon 6
Eaton 6, Avon 3
Galion 16, Ashtabula 6
Maumee 10, Wheelersburg 6
Galion 7, Mount Vernon 2
Eaton 11, Maumee 9
Hamilton 8, Dover 4
Canfield 15, New Albany 0
Dover 6, Galion 1
New Albany 6, Eaton 1
Canfield 9, Hamilton 2
Dover 14, New Albany 10
Dover 11, Hamilton 8
Dover 10, Canfield 0
Dover 6, Canfield 3
Andrew Carter can be reached at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048. Connect with him on Twitter @ACGalionSports.