Little League all-star team district champs, takes second at state

Outlook staff writer
Photo courtesy Jason Wise. The Laurel/Granite Peak/Beartooth Little League all-star team is seen after winning the District 1 Championship. In the front from the left are Coach Jason Wise and Hunter Doyle, Silas Hahn. In the middle row are Kellen Wrzesinski, Zach Stewart, Mason Meier, Zach Downing, Landon Olson, Owen Reynolds, Reece Dolechek, Jase Fox and Chad Wise. In the back are coaches Stew Doyle, Wade Reynolds and Keever Dolchek.

The Laurel/Granite Peak/Beartooth boys 10-11 all-star little league team is heading into the school year with some hardware to show their fellow classmates after winning the District 1 tournament in July and finishing second at state. They compiled a 10-2 record in the all-star season.
Led by coaches Jason Wise, Stew Doyle, Keever Dolechek and Wade Reynolds, the team consisted of outstanding baseball players from three little league teams; Laurel, Granite Peak (Columbus) and Beartooth (Red Lodge).
Wise said after the 20 game regular season, players who wanted to try out for the all-star team were asked to sign a letter of commitment if they were interested.
“We took 12 players, and lost one. We didn’t have to cut anybody so everyone got a chance to play,” Wise said.
The all-star season began July 5 with a round robin tournament to determine seeding for the district tournament. The Laurel/Granite Peak/Beartooth all-star team beat every team in their league, compiling a 4-0 record, earning the number one seed and the home field advantage as district host.
On July 12, they beat Big Sky 20-18 in the first game at Laurel when Reece Dolechek hit a grand slam in the fifth inning, putting the team on top for good in the high scoring six-inning affair.
They then beat perennial powerhouse Boulder Arrowhead of Billings 6-3 on July 13, and 11-3 on July 15 to claim the district championship.
Boulder Arrowhead is the “Goliath of baseball in Billings; they win everything,” Wise said, adding “we surprised a few people, and even ourselves.”
Boulder Arrowhead was the host for the state tournament in Billings July 22-25.
Laurel/Granite Peak/Beartooth beat Heights 3-2 in the first round then lost to Boulder Arrowhead 13-6 in their second game. They beat Heights for the second time to advance out of the losers bracket. They beat Boulder Arrowhead 8-3 on the the 24th and played them on the 25th for the championship game. Because they came out of the losers bracket, they had to beat BA twice to win the championship.
Laurel/Granite Peak/Beartooth came up short in the championship game, 11-3, to finish second in the state.
Coach Doyle said of Boulder Arrowhead, “Hats off to them, they’re a good club.”
Wise said the kids did a great job over the three-week all-star season and excelled at hitting, pitching and defense.
From the round robin tournament through districts, 7 of the 11 players batted over .444. Chase Wise led the team with a .904 average, going 19/21. Mason Meier and Dolechek both hit .600, both going 12/20 from the plate. Meier, Wise and Kellen Wrzsenski each had home runs and Dolechek added two.
Hunter Doyle had 2 wins and one save over Boulder Arrowhead and pitched five of the six innings in the district championship, and Mason Meyer came in for the final inning as the closer. Landon Olson and Owen Reynolds, and Zach Stewart all pitched quality innings throughout the season, as well.
“The pitching was first class [throughout the season],” Wise said.
Coaches Wise and Doyle were impressed by the Boulder Arrowhead players and coaches, and proud of the Laurel/Granite Peak/Beartooth all-star team.
“Great coaches and great kids. Every game was coached and played with class on both sides,” they said.
The coaches expect good things next year and they hope the success of this years team encourages more kids to play baseball.
Wise wants to give special thanks to all the coaches, parents, friends and family for their support and effort in the post season.
“Without your commitment we wouldn’t have had the success we did,” Wise said, adding, the boys “are all special and you have a lot to be proud of in each of them.”


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Monday, July 8, 2019
• Christmas to Remember meeting, second Monday, 1 p.m., at Reese & Ray’s IGA, call 248-8557 for information
Monday, July 8, 2019
• Council Catholic Women (CCW), second Monday, 6:30 p.m., St. Anthony’s Catholic Church
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.


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