The Wheelersburg 9-10 year old baseball team completed a successful season with a runner-up finish at last week's state tournament in Cambridge.
"It was a wonderful experience," assistant coach Jon Collins said. "The kids really battled hard. It was an all-around great trip."
After making it through a 16-team district tournament without a loss, the team traveled to Cambridge for state competition.
Wheelersburg won its first game over Defiance 12-11, after trailing 10-2 in the 5th inning. They continued their success, defeating Mt. Vernon 2-1 in their second game.
North Canton knocked the team to the loser's bracket, winning 14-2. There, the young Pirates faced Mt. Vernon again, winning another close game, 1-0. The win set Wheelersburg up with a re-match with North Canton in the final round. In a tight contest, Wheelersburg fell 5-3.
"They showed a lot of heart after losing 14-2 by bouncing back and coming out of the losers’ bracket," Collins said. "They played great D and got a great pitching performance from Xander Charmichael (in that game). It speaks a lot to the heart of the kids.
The team was Wheelersburg's third Little League team to make a run in state competition. Softball teams in the 9-10 and 11-12 age divisions made it through to the state tournament as well.
Collins noted that he'd like to thank the team's coach Mike McCormick for "the wonderful job he did with the kids and all the time and effort he put into the season."
State Tournament Results
Wheelersburg 12, Defiance 11
Wheelersburg 2, Mt. Vernon 1
North Canton 14, Wheelersburg 2
Wheelersburg 1, Mt. Vernon 0
North Canton 5, Wheelersburg 3