Undefeated All Star team takes spotless record all the way to a state championship

Mikaela Koski
Thursday, August 9, 2018

   The state champion All Star team, from left to right: Front row- Dallas Jackson, Bridger Wilks, Krew Hunter, Grayson Baumann, Hunter Zabransky, Koleman Gairrett, Colter Chamberlin, Ethan West. Kneeling- Tayden Lanaghan. Back row- Travis West (head coach), Max Barthuly, Chad Baumann (assistant), Mason Wilson, Paul Gairrett (assistant)

After an impressive 21-1 Little League season, five kids from the Granite Peak majors team continued their winning ways with the 9-10 Columbus-Laurel All Star team.

Bridger Wilks, Colter Chamberlin, Ethan West, Hunter Zabransky, and Koleman Garriet, along with coach Travis West, teamed up with players and a coach from the Laurel Little League team for the All Star season. During the Little League Tournament of Champions (TOC) semi-final game, the two teams duked it out for 13 innings (more than twice the number of innings in a regulation game) over two days, with Laurel eventually coming out on top.

When players from the two teams combined, the result was an unstoppable force for All Star teams across the state.

The All Star season began at the beginning of July, almost immediately after TOC wrapped up. The Columbus-Laurel team swept six games in seven days to set them up in a strong position heading into the district tournament.

Three straight wins at districts advanced the team to the state tourney as the first seed out of the East.

The 6-team state tournament (three teams from the East and three teams representing the West) was held in Frenchtown at the end of July, and the Columbus-Laurel All Star team continued to dominate at the highest level.

During the first day of competition, the Columbus-Laurel team put on a commanding performance, defeating Heights 14-0.

Both Wilks and Chamberlin drove in runs during the team’s big 6-run second inning. For the game, Zabransky and Chamberlin each racked up two of the team’s 11 hits.

West started on the mound for the Columbus-Laurel team. He struck out two while allowing no hits or runs in 1 2/3 innings. The team played well as a whole on defense, putting up no errors and ending the game on a double play initiated by Chamberlin.

The next day, Columbus-Laurel was again victorious, beating Big Sky 13-3.

As in the first game, the team had a big second inning, putting up eight runs. Garriet, West, Chamberlin, and Zabransky all contributed RBIs. West led the team offensively, going 3-for-4 from the plate.

Chamberlin pitched for the Columbus-Laurel team. He allowed three hits and three runs over four innings. He struck out four batters.

The win over Big Sky propelled the Columbus-Laurel All Star team to the state championship. For the second time in the tournament they faced, and beat, Heights.

West pitched a shutout, allowing only two hits while striking out five over four innings on the way to a 10-0 Columbus-Laurel state championship.

Wilks, Garriet, and Chamberlin each put up RBIs in the team’s 5-run fourth inning. Garriet led the team from the plate, going a perfect 3-for-3.

The Columbus-Laurel All Star team went 12-0 during the state championship season. In all, they 10-run-ruled each team at the state tournament, allowing only three runs in as many games.

In addition to the title of state champion, two Columbus boys received additional honors. Garriet was awarded the title of MVP during the Big Sky game, and West received the honor in the championship.