WELLINGTON — The Wellington Regulators earned the first of what they hope will be a trio of championship trophies and kept their perfect season intact Wednesday night at Wellington Community Park.
The Regulators used a seven-run third inning to propel them to a 10-3 win over Vermilion in the Class H (ages 9-10) Lorain County Hot Stove county championship game.
Wellington (21-0) got a first-inning home run from starting pitcher Colten Cowling but it was two innings later when they took control of the game.
“I hit the ball between right field and center field. I knew I kinda hit it well but I wasn’t really sure,” Cowling said of his ninth home run of the year. “I knew it would at least be a triple.”
In the third inning the Regulators got doubles from Nate Griffin and Hunter Varney while scoring the maximum runs allowed in an inning under Hot Stove rules.
“We’ve been all working very hard this season and having good practices. You can see everyone has been putting work in,” Varney said. “I was very confident coming into the game and I’m sure everyone else on the team was confident too.”
Three Wellington pitchers — Cowling, Griffin and Caleb Hamer — combined to hold a Vermilion team that averaged over 10 runs a game in the regular season to just three run and two hits.
“Colt started the game but Nate Griffin is like ‘1A’ in the rotation. They are both a lot of fun to have on the team,” Wellington coach Jake Baker said. “Not a lot of teams at this age have the luxury of having two pitchers like that. I also went to Caleb tonight for the first time in about a month and he gave us a good inning.”
“These kids really work hard and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Baker said.
Oliver Hendrickson, Mason Cooper and Ryder Hall scored for the Sailors, who fell to 16-3. Both teams are still alive in the regional tournament and could potentially meet again in the state finals.
“We’ve been working on our hitting, we’ve been going to the cages. We came ready for today.” Cowling said.
Wellington Snap-On 10, North Ridgeville Rangers 5
Wellington Snap-On made it two county championships in a row with a win in the Class G (ages 11-12) championship game.
Wellington trailed 5-1 heading into the fourth inning but scored three times thanks to singles by John Kinter and Jack Marsh to pull within a run. It then took the lead an inning later with four runs, capped off by a Kinter home run.
“It feels great,” said Kinter, who also pitched four innings to earn the win. “We were kinda nervous but even last week I though we were gonna win this game.”
Wellington (21-1) avenged its only loss of the season, a 10-0 drubbing at the hands of the Rangers on June 19. Wellington coach John Kinter, the father of the winning pitcher, was worried about how his team would perform in the rematch.
“I still can’t believe it. I didn’t know if we could beat this team tonight to be honest with you,” coach Kinter said. “I told my coaches we were going to live and die by our pitching. Our pitchers stuck to the game play and did exactly what I wanted. I’m so proud of this team.”
Even though Wellington has experience winning county championships it was still an emotional scene as the team posed for pictures after the game.
“It made me really good to see my coach cry after the game. That made me feel really good about myself,” said Jack Senghas, who was 2-for-3 with a double and three runs scored. “Really I’m still in shock. I haven’t gotten it yet that we really won this game.”
Max Schatz started on the mound for Wellington and pitched two innings. Marsh also pitched an inning.
North Ridgeville (21-1) was led by solo home runs off the bats of Logan Carroll and Andrew Flesher.
Bulldogs 14, North Ridgeville Raptors 13
In the 7-8-year-old final, Waylen Zdilla’s two-out sixth-inning single was the game-winner as the Bulldogs rallied from three runs down in the final inning.