Outlaws have come to Wellington and they’ve brought a state championship with them.
They’re the Wellington AC Outlaws to be exact. The Class G Hot Stove team defeated the North Ridgeville Vultures 6-2 this past Sunday in Alliance to cap a perfect 24-0 season and secure the state title, which coaches say is the first Class G undefeated season in village history.
“There was a small sense of disbelief at first,” said seventh-year coach Dan Davison. “I think it finally started sinking in as reality Sunday evening once we got everyone back together to sit down and talk. They boys are remaining humble but they’re just so excited about the whole situation.”
When the team returned to Wellington around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, they were escorted down South Main Street by firefighters in an impromptu parade that attracted more than 100 fans.
“That meant so much to me, the boys, and everyone involved with this team,” Davison said. “We all want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The looks on their faces when they realized so many people were coming out to support their achievement were just incredible.”
In the championship game, the Outlaws capitalized on a chain of North Ridgeville errors and a two-run double from Riley Reyna to jump out to a 6-0 lead and never looked back. Teammate Braden Hamer was named most valuable player of the state tournament.
Reyna’s .415 batting average on the year was second only to C.J. Polen, who hit .517, scored 31 runs, and notched 45 runs batted in.
“The final out in the championship game was a pop-up to centerfield,” said Polen. “We were all nervous, but next thing you know, he caught it and it was very exciting. It feels good to be the first team to win the state title for Wellington. There’s a lot of good people around here and it feels good to do it for them. Something like this doesn’t happen that often and we’re happy about it.”
“This was a goal we set earlier this year during training, to go undefeated and win a state title,” said Davison. “We wanted that perfect season. To be able to come though on that feels so good for all of us. To do it for Wellington is even better.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.