Owensboro Western 12s won the first Cal Ripken state championship in the history of the program on Sunday in Elizabethtown.

Western earned the West Kentucky State Tournament crown with a 3-2 win over defending champion Elizabethtown in extra innings.

"Elizabethtown was champs as 10-year-olds and 11-year-olds, and they were clearly the favorite for this year," said Greg Wathen, manager for Owensboro Western. "We were at that level with them. We played great.

Braydon Whittaker started the bottom of the seventh inning with an infield hit. Whittaker then stole second base and Logan Mewes hit a double over the left fielder's head to score Whittaker with the game-winning run.

Mewes and Trevor DeLacey each had RBIs in the Elizabethtown game. DeLacey hit a solo home run and pitched three innings of 1-hit baseball.

DeLacey, Zack Morrison and Will Hume combined for nine strikeouts and five walks against Elizabethtown.

"This group has got pitching," Wathen said. "Today we leaned on our big three, that was Zack Morrison, Will Hume and Trevor DeLacey."

Western allowed six runs for the tournament.

Western also beat Barren County 3-2 in a semifinal game earlier Sunday to advance to the championship game.

Towery was 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles against Barren County. Isaac Carter-Swanagan had a double and an RBI for Western.

Hume had six strikeouts and was credited with the win over Barren County.

"Every day of the tournament, every opponent we had, the next opponent we had to step it up a little more to win," Wathen said. "We were playing at our level, but the competition got stiffer each time we went up. Committed is what (Western) has been. We talked constantly with them about competing, you're going to have to compete every game, as you get further in the tournament, you have to compete even more."

Western will go to the Cal Ripken Ohio Valley Regional in Crown Point, Indiana on July 17-21, with pool play going the first three days.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

ELIZABETHTOWN|001-001-0 _ 2-4-0

OWENSBORO WESTERN|100-010-1 _ 3-5-4

SEMIFINALS

WESTERN|002-100 _ 3-5-3

BARREN COUNTY|100-010 _ 2-3-2

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