Park Rapids’ Harley Wellman helped the Wadena-Deer Creek Babe Ruth baseball team capture the 2019 14-15 Year Old Intact State Championship with a 5-1 victory over Royalton on July 28 at Warroad.
Wellman, who was a draftee from the Park Rapids Storm Babe Ruth team, played a key role in W-DC’s state championship run as the starting catcher and a relief pitcher while batting fifth in the lineup.
Wadena-Deer Creek posted a 2-1 record in pool play and won three straight games in bracket play to capture the championship in this 16-team tournament, which was held at Warroad on July 25-28.
Wadena-Deer Creek opened round-robin play with an 8-5 victory over Roseau. Wellman finished with two hits in that game. Wellman had a pair of hits as W-DC routed Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 12-2 in five innings in the second game of pool play. Wellman contributed two more hits in W-DC’s 11-8 loss to Royalton to conclude round-robin play. That third game didn’t matter as both teams had already qualified for the eight-team championship bracket.
W-DC opened play in the finals with a 6-4 quarterfinal victory over New York Mills as Wellman had two hits. W-DC defeated New York Mills 1-0 in the championship game of the District 2 tournament at Bemidji on July 21 to qualify for state. In the semifinals, W-DC defeated Ashby 10-0 before claiming the state title by defeating Royalton as Wellman finished with two hits and pitched the final 1 ⅓ innings in the championship game.