Wabash to host the Little League state championship

By Bill Barrows

Wabash will have an influx of baseball teams starting on Wednesday, July 26, as 14 teams will begin competition for the Indiana 12 and Under State Championship. All games will be at the Field of Dreams. This year’s edition of players played in the District 9 Tourney and won that earlier this month. Action will run through July 30. The winner will earn the right to represent Indiana at the Central Region Tourney.

Danny Lloyd is the manager of the squad. He is assisted by Shannon Floor and Brandon Booth. All three are veteran coaches of Wabash Little League. They have all participated for several years. Coach Lloyd is very excited about this team going into the tourney. To go deep into any tourney, the key is pitching depth. This team seems to have plenty.

Cole Winer, Morgan Lloyd, Dillon Tomlinson, Mason Fisher, Ashton Smith and Nathan Lehner will get the bulk of the innings. Winer throws hard but can also mix it up with off-speed pitches.  Lloyd is a power pitcher. Has a nasty cutter and is good when he keeps the ball in the lower part of the strike zone. Tomlinson throws hard and has displayed good accuracy. He mixes his pitches well to keep hitters of balance. As does Fisher, who is utilized frequently relieving one of the power pitchers.

Smith is the lone lefty on the staff. He keeps hitters off balance with his delivery and mix of pitches.  A left handed hitter, he also contributes as a great situational hitter. Lehner, also a key outfielder, has thrown the ball well of late after dealing with arm issues early in the regular season.

Fisher plays middle infield, outfield, and catches. 

According to Coach Lloyd, “offensively, Mason is having a great all-star season.  Just put him back in the lead off position.”  Winer, Lloyd and Tomlinson normally comprise the middle of the batting order.  They are the 2-3-4 spots in the lineup who have now hit back to back to back homeruns twice thus far in the postseason. 

Drayson Pace plays first base, is a solid hitter who plays great defense. “He’s a very tough competitor,” Coach Lloyd said. Kolton Floor does a lot of the catching. He sees the field and runs the game. “A good hitter, who also plays third base,” Lloyd continued. Andrew Dillon has a lot of speed and a good arm from the outfield. He hits with power from the left side at a high average.  “Being a lefty with speed also makes him a threat to lay one down at any time.”

Justin Booth is a key part of the offense. He can pitch, also plays a number of positions defensively from outfield as well as second base, shortstop and third base. Isaiah Sutton is a speed merchant. He tracks balls down in the outfield that saves runs. A tough out at the plate, he uses his speed by hitting the ball on the ground using the entire field.  Jaden Lake is a big right-handed hitter with power. Lloyd continues, “Jaden does some pitching for us and plays solid 3rd base.”  

Coach Lloyd sums it all up.

“I love all of these kids,” he said. “They really get along great and like playing together.  They have all been a crucial part of our success over the past 3 years.  What is really amazing is that there is always one that maybe you did not expect, who steps up and gives the performance of a lifetime! 

“Pool play will be really tough this year.  Game one will be against District 5 champion New Albany followed by the District 2 winner which is yet to be determined for game two.  Our final pool game will be against District 6 champion New Castle.  New Albany and New Castle are always tough and we will have to wait and see who comes out of District 2.  It will be a lot of fun, and we get to do it all in front of the home crowd!”

Posted on 2017 Jul 25