STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS Canfield, Youngstown teams are state champs
The Canfield softball team will travel to Missouri and the Babe Ruth baseball team will travel to Wisconsin.
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Canfield's 11-12-year-old Little League softball team and Youngstown Babe Ruth League's 15-year-old All-Star team won state championships Thursday.
In Huber Heights near Cincinnati, Canfield finished the state tournament unbeaten with a 7-0 victory over Tallmadge.
Lauren Sulick pitched a no-hitter, striking out 10 to clinch Canfield Baseball Club's first state championship at the 11-12 level. Five years ago, Canfield's 11-12 team finished state runner-up to Conneaut in the club's third season of fast-pitch play.
Two years ago, the current Canfield team won Little League's state title for the 9-10 age bracket.
CBC's other state softball title was earned in 1999 when the 13-14-year-old squad won the Junior League title and went 2-2 in regional play.
Canfield advances to Little League's Central Region tournament that begins Monday in Joplin, Mo. The Ohio champions' first game will be against the North/South Dakota.
In Zanesville, the Youngstown Babe Ruth 15-year-old All-Stars defeated Steubenville 4-0 to win the state championship.
The Youngstown-area all-star team advances to the regional tournament that will be played from Aug. 1-7 in Appleton, Wis.
In Thursday's win, Dan Balog reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the third inning.
Two batters later, Ryan Hamilton hit a two-run single to give Youngstown a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, Grant Sevek singled, Dave Piersante was hit by a pitch and Lou Kopachy and Balog each followed with RBI singles.
Derek Baker pitched four shutout innings for the win and Justin Herberger and Matt Bable closed the door in relief.
One run in 26 innings
Youngstown has allowed just one earned run in 26 innings and none in its last 19. Pitchers over that span include John Warren, Herberger, Andy Todor, Tyler Stanley, Baker, and Bable.
Kopachy, Sevek, Todor, Stanley, John Foty, Brian Daugherty, Stanley and Manager Mike Kopachy were all members of the 2000 and 2001 13- and 14-year old state champions, giving Youngstown a three-peat.
The players and their hometowns are: Sevek (Salem), Daugherty (Brookfield), Piersante (Canfield), Kopachy (Youngstown), Todor (Damascus), Balog (Youngstown), Foty (Girard), Stanley (McDonald), Jim Hlebak (Boardman), Hamilton (Canfield), Josh McKenney (Canfield), Warren (Union, Pa.), Baker (Salem), Herberger (Canfield), and Bable (Darlington).
Kopachy's coaches are Rod Hamilton, Alan Stanley and Dave Pollack.