The Western Cal Ripken 12-year-old All-Stars can finally call themselves state champions. After starting the tournament 3-0, Western topped Barren County before knocking off Elizabethtown to claim the West Kentucky State Tournament title for the first time ever.
Western won 3-2 in each game Sunday, and the championship was won via a walk-off double by Logan Mewes that allowed Braydon Whittaker to score from second base in the seventh inning.
Western got on the board first in the championship game, using a two-out solo home run from Trevor Delacy in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. After Elizabethtown tied the game in the third, Western went back in front in the fifth frame with an RBI from Christopher Burns that drove in Whittaker.
Elizabethtown was able to add another run in the sixth before Mewes ended the game with his hit to left field.
Four pitchers combined in the victory. Starter Delacey went three innings and struck out three. Zach Morrison and Will Hume each struck out three more over the next 3.2 innings, and Mewes induced a ground out after coming in to face the final batter.
Western started the day with a tight game against Barren County and had to dig out of an early one-run deficit. A double by Israel Carter-Swanagan drove in Mewes for a tie game. Delacey was then hit by a pitch and eventually reached home on an error after stealing third base.
Whittaker drove in Braydon Towery for an insurance run in the fourth frame, and Western allowed one more run but held on for the win.
Morrison started on the mound and went 2.1 innings with three strikeouts, four walks, two hits and a run. Hume finished out the game, striking out six with two walks, a hit and a run.
Western automatically qualifies to move on to the 12U Ohio Valley Region Tournament, which will be held in Crown Point, Ind., beginning July 17.