By BRIAN DZENIS
After dropping the first game of the 9-10 Little League State Tournament, Boardman’s baseball team took the hardest possible route to the championship round.
No team played more games than Boardman —seven in six days— and the locals had the home team, Dover, waiting for them in the final.
A protested run gave Boardman the 5-4 edge to force a tiebreaker game. Boardman left no room for questions after beating Dover 10-4 to win the state title on Saturday.
“We couldn’t have taken a harder road. We just had one bad half-inning, then we played every day,” Boardman coach Rob Hyde said. “It tough to manage the pitching aspect of it at that age, but it was sort of a blessing in disguise. The boys were always ready to go versus having a day off.”
In the first game, Boardman took a 4-2 lead in the fourth before Dover tied the game in the top of the sixth. Boardman’s Jack Ericson doubled to open the bottom of the inning. Two batters latter, Zach Ganser doubled to center field to bring Ericson around to home plate. The throw made it to home plate, but Ericson jumped over the catcher and home plate, reaching backward to score the run. Dover protested the run arguing that the run shouldn’t count because Ericson left his feet. Officals called the Little League regional office in Indianapolis to get a ruling, which came down in Boardman’s favor.
“It’s a unique heads-up play,” Hyde said. “We don’t practice that.”
Gavin Hyde threw a complete game, allowing two earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts. Dylan Barrett collected two RBIs and T.J. Richey added one more.
Boardman never trailed in game two. Caleb Satterfield had three hits, including a two-run home run. Richey and Ganser each had two hits.
Boardman’s season ends with the state title.