Marysville All-Stars play first championship game in 27 years

Marysville’s Josiah Koellmer takes off from first base during the All-Star state championship game on Sunday, July 21. - Photo by Jim Waller
Marysville’s Josiah Koellmer takes off from first base during the All-Star state championship game on Sunday, July 21.
— image credit: Photo by Jim Waller

OAK HARBOR — Marysville Little League’s 10-year-old All-Stars took second place in the state tournament on Sunday,  July 21, and although they didn’t win the title, they were still the first Marysville All-Star team to play in a state championship game in 27 years.

“We started out with a bang and we won our first three games,” said coach Ernie Brown. “Then we got hit with some bad luck. We still pitched well and we took second out of 14 teams, so there are 12 other teams that wish they were where we are.”

Although the kids were disappointed at not managing to take first place, they still showed that Marysville can compete.

“You know, we took second in state, there was a lot of good things that happened and a lot of fun,” said Brown. “We played five games — against Richland Nationals, Camas, Kent and Mercer Island, who beat us twice. We gave up more runs in those two games than in the nine games before that.

One thing that affected their chances of winning was an off-duty injury by their top pitcher.

“We lost our best pitcher to injury on his day off,” said Brown of Malakhi Knight, who had a foot injury. “That’s not a reason for the loss, but I think it affected the team.”

A large crowd of local people supported the boys as they represented Marysville on Whidbey Island.

“I just want to say, ‘Congratulations,’ to the whole team and all the parents,” said Brown. “So many people from the community came up to Oak Harbor. It was a great showing of support from people in the neighborhood. It was the first time in 27 years that a team played for a championship at a state tournament. It was 1986 the last time a team did that. The kids were happy. They were excited and jubilant. One team has to win and one team has to lose. We have no regrets, we had a great time. Yhe kids got a month extra of baseball, and each and every kid helped out.”

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