BOARDMAN — The Washington C.H. 12-year-old all-stars, winners of the District Eight championship, recently competed in the 2016 State tournament in Boardman, not far from Youngstown.
Washington went 1-2 in the double-elimination tournament.
In the first game, Washington had to go up against defending State champions, Hamilton West Side.
Hamilton won that game, 12-1. That game was played on Saturday, July 16.
Hamilton, as many expected, went on to win the State title again, qualifying for the Regional tournament in Indianapolis.
The one run scored by Washington against Hamilton was the only run the West Siders allowed in the tournament.
After beating Washington, Hamilton defeated Jefferson, 13-0, then they knocked off Tuscarawas City, 11-3 and Canfield, 2-0.
In the State title game, Hamilton played Canfield again, this time trouncing them, 9-0.
In the second game for Washington, played Monday, July 18, Washington defeated Minford, 4-3.
Finally for Washington, on Tuesday, July 19, the local all-stars lost to Maumee, 17-9.
Maumee went on to win two more games, advancing to the finals in the consolation bracket, where they lost 11-7 to Canfield.
In the game against Hamilton West Side, Washington scored one run on one hit.
After a scoreless first inning, Hamilton scored twice in the second and twice in the third inning.
The game got away from Washington went Hamilton scored eight runs in the fourth to take a 12-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Karson Runk led off the inning with a single.
Weston Melvin reached on an error.
Dylan Grove hit into a fielder’s choice, shortstop to third base, erasing Runk from the bases.
Both runners advanced on a passed ball and another passed ball allowed Melvin to score.
Conner Bucher started and took the loss for Washington. He had four strikeouts and two walks.
Hugh Silberman also pitched for Washington with one walk and one strikeout.
“We knew coming in that we were playing one of the top teams in, not just our state, but, in the region,” Washington C.H. manager Brandon Runk said.
A defensive highlight came when Washington turned a 6-3 double play against Hamilton West Side in the second inning.
“The ball was hit up the middle,” Runk said. “Karson fielded it, stepped on second and threw to Hughie Silberman at first for the double play.
“We got out of the second and we were only down 2-0,” Runk said.
The pitching was dominate for West Side, Runk noted.
“They used five pitchers and they were all very good,” Runk said. “They threw everything. They were very well-coached. You could tell they had pitching coaches. All their pitchers threw very fast. They threw curve balls, they threw change-ups, they kept the ball down.”
Seven of Washington’s 12 outs in the four-inning game were by strikeout.
Hamilton West Side has won 35 consecutive District Nine titles and 16 State titles, according to Brandon Runk.
Offensively for Washington C.H. against Hamilton West Side: Conner Bucher, 0-2; Karson Runk, 1-2; Weston Melvin, 0-2, 1 run; Braden Osborne, 0-0, 1 bb; Dylan Grove, 0-1; Drew Ferguson, 0-2; Hugh Silberman, 0-1; Gabe Campagna, 0-1; Evan Weaver, 0-1; Brayden May, 0-1.
HWS 022 8xx — 12 16 1
W 000 1xx — 1 1 3
After a day of relaxation, swimming and watching Minford play Canfield, Washington took on Minford Monday at 5 p.m.
Washington won this game, 4-3.
Gabe Campagna was the winning pitcher for Washington. He pitched 4.1 innings with two runs, three strikeouts and three walks.
Weston Melvin got the save, throwing 1.2 innings with one run, three strikeouts and no walks.
“The kids were more relaxed,” Runk said. “We had just seen (Minford) play the day before. The kids felt good about themselves coming into the game.
“It only ended up 4-3,” Runk said. “But, we left the bases loaded a couple of times. We had opportunities to put the game away, but we just couldn’t.”
Washington left the bases loaded in the first inning and again in the third inning, Runk said.
“We played solid defense,” Runk said. “They were batting with two runners on and two outs in the top of the sixth. Conner Bucher came running in to catch a little flare to end the game. That was a real nice play.”
Washington got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the first.
Conner Bucher led off with a single and Karson Runk hit a double.
Bucher scored on a passed ball and Runk scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0, Washington.
Minford tied the game with a two-run home run in the top of the third inning.
Washington recaptured the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third.
It was a similar scenario as in the first inning.
Bucher singled and Runk hit a double.
Weston Melvin hit a single, scoring both runners.
Minford had a solo home run in the top of the fourth. It proved to be the final run of the game.
Offensively for Washington C.H. against Minford: Conner Bucher, 3-3, 2 sb, 2 runs; Karson Runk, 2-3, 2 2b, 3 sb, 2 runs; Weston Melvin, 1-2, 1 bb, 3 sb, 2 rbi; Braden Osborne, 1-3; Drew Ferguson, 0-1, 1 bb; Hayden Hunter, 0-0, 1 bb; Hugh Silberman, 0-1; Dylan Grove, 0-1, 1 bb; Gabe Campagna, 1-2, 1 bb; Alex Boles, 0-0, 1 bb; Evan Weaver, 1-2; Brayden May, 0-2.
M 002 010 — 3 12 2
W 202 00x — 4 9 1
On Tuesday, July 19, the Washington C.H. all-stars took on Maumee. Once again, Washington was the home team.
Maumee scored eight runs in the third inning and put up four in the fourth and three more in the sixth en route to a 17-9 victory.
Alex Boles started on the mound for Washington. He pitched 2.1 innings with six runs, five hits, two walks and two strikeouts.
Hugh Silberman pitched 2.1 innings, suffering the loss. He allowed eight runs on three hits with five walks and two strikeouts.
Evan Weaver pitched 1.1 innings with three runs on three hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out two.
After Maumee hit a solo home run in the top of the first, Washington responded with two runs in the bottom of the second.
Conner Bucher led off by reaching on an error. He advanced to third on wild pitches/passed balls and scored.
Weston Melvin made it to second on a walk and stolen base.
After another passed ball, Bucher headed for home. An error on the play allowed Bucher and Melvin to score.
Maumee scored eight runs in the third to make it 9-2.
Washington C.H. kept battling, scoring four times in the bottom of the third.
Braden Osborne walked and Gabe Campagna singled.
Hugh Silberman hit a double, scoring both runners.
Hayden Hunter singled, scoring Silberman and Brayden May singled home Hunter.
Maumee tacked on four runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth.
Trailing 14-6, Washington rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Silberman led off the inning with a single and May walked.
Evan Weaver hit a one-out single, scoring Silberman and May.
Weaver later scored on a passed ball.
Unfortunately, Maumee negated those runs with three more in the top of the sixth.
“When they came off the field trailing 9-2, I explained to them that we still had four at-bats left,” Runk said. “We ended up scoring four runs in that inning. That was encouraging, but, then, they scored four more in the fourth and another in the fifth.”
Runk reflected on the team’s trip to State.
“Not too many teams from Fayette County go up to State and win a game,” Runk said. “Mark Schwartz won a game a couple of years back.
“We were really happy about winning that game,” Runk said. “The entire time we were up there, I just told them, I want you guys to have fun. We were District champs; we got that far. I’m just very proud of these boys.”
Offensively for Washington C.H. against Maumee: Conner Bucher, 2-4, 4 sb, 1 run; Karson Runk, 2-4; Weston Melvin, 0-3, 1 bb, 3 sb, 1 run; Braden Osborne, 0-2, 2 bb, 1 run; Drew Ferguson, 0-2; Gabe Campagna, 1-2, 1 run; Hugh Silberman, 3-4, 1 2b, 2 rbi, 2 runs, 1 sb; Dylan Grove, 0-1; Hayden Hunter, 1-2, 1 run, 1 rbi, 1 sb; Brayden May, 1-2, 1 bb, 1 rbi, 1 run; Alex Boles, 0-0, 1 bb; Evan Weaver, 1-2, 2 rbi, 2 sb, 1 run.
M 108 413 — 17 11 3
W 204 030 — 9 12 6
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1