Hamilton West Side’s first game in the Ohio Little League 12-year-old baseball tournament will be against the host team.
Maumee opened the tournament Saturday with an 11-1, four-inning victory over Wheelersburg and will meet West Side at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Ford Park’s Robert S. Hoag Field.
“They’re a good, fundamental team,” Hamilton coach Ken Coomer said after watching Maumee’s win. “They hit the ball. Decent size. The game was kind of determined early, so I didn’t really get to see much after the second inning. But we’re still going in with confidence and feeling we can take care of business.”
Coomer said West Side, winner of nine of the last 11 state 12-year-old championships, will start either Braedyn Moore or Lake Cundiff on the mound.
“We’re leaning toward Moore,” Coomer said. “We’ll probably warm both up and see if we get a good feel one way or the other.”
Maumee is a formidable opponent, having finished ahead of Hamilton in last year’s 11-year-old state tourney. Coomer said Maumee’s offensive approach reminds him of Lebanon, the District 9 runner-up.
“They’re a Lebanon-type team as far as 1 through 9 being aggressive with the bats,” Coomer said. “They’re not up there to walk. They’re up there to swing the bat.”
West Side outscored its four district opponents 50-2 and had a strong week of practice, according to Coomer.
“Our kids seem comfortable,” he said. “Maumee’s kids get to sleep in their own beds, but sometimes that can be a disadvantage when you’re at home and laying around the house. Being out of town, we’re going to get up and get the blood flowing early.”
Maumee has all but one player back from last year’s 11-year-old squad and had little trouble with Wheelersburg Saturday while throwing two pitchers, Colby VanDusen (35 pitches) and Danny Hazard (nine pitches).
VanDusen can’t throw against West Side because of pitch-count rules. Maumee coach L.J. Archambeau said his starter will come from a group of four right-handers: Michael Dembski, Cole Graetz, Zac Harris and Hazard.
“We’ve got no one that throws extremely hard,” Archambeau said. “We’ve got a couple kids that can mix…