Prep Baseball: Onalaska’s Volk Named MVP of Inaugural C2BL All-Star Game
By The Chronicle
LONGVIEW — AJ Volk of Onalaska earned MVP honors here on Saturday as Team White defeated Team Gray 3-1 in the first annual Central 2B League All Star game at Lower Columbia College.
The teams were comprised of All-League representatives from teams across the C2BL with players divided up by position in order to field two approximately even squads. Kalama coach Brandon Walker was instrumental in setting up the contest and he came away feeling like Saturday’s game was likely the start of what could become a lasting tradition.
“It was just a really cool night and a way for the guys to get back out there one more time. Most of us, if not all of us, were coming off of losses. So even if it was just an All Star game it was a good way to get that sour taste out of your mouth,” noted Walker, whose Chinooks won the C2BL title before falling to Asotin in the state title game.
Team White put up all three of their runs in the third inning thanks in large part to Volk’s performance at the plate. First he broke the scoreless tie with a single that scored two runs and then later in the inning he came around to score a run himself to put his team up 3-0.
In the bottom half of the inning Chance Fay of Adna came around to score on a passed ball after getting the inning going with a single. However, Team Gray was unable to sustain any momentum and that run proved to be their last.
“It was kind of a pitcher’s duel for both teams all game long,” said Walker, who noted that there were only seven hits in the nine-inning game combined between the two teams.
James Anderson pitched the first two innings for the winners before handing the ball off to Tommy Brandenburg. Sawyer Burdick pitched the fourth and fifth innings before ceding pitching duties to Tristen Lawrence for a couple innings. Brennon Vance secured the win with a two-inning save.
Volk said he was happy to have another chance to compete against the best of the best from small schools in the area.
“It was definitely different because I’d never really played with any of those kids before,” explained Volk. “I knew all those kids were good. It was just fun to be on the same team and work on our chemistry for nine innings.”
When it came time to talk about his game-winning offensive production Volk explained that he was just trying to do his job.
“In the senior all-star game I got some opportunities and I didn’t capitalize on so it was nice to be able to come back out here and show what I can do,” said Volk. “It’s a great opportunity for some talented guys to show what they’re capable of.”
Perhaps the penultimate moment of the All-Star game came after Vance had already secured the 27th out for his team. With his brother, Bradey, left in the on-deck circle everyone in attendance agreed that it would only be fair to allow the brothers to face off in a pitcher vs. hitter showdown that was stoked with sibling rivalry overtones. As such, Brennon Vance promptly reared back and sent a pitch screaming squarely into his brother’s flesh.
“It was awesome. Brady was on deck and he ended up striking out the batter before him to end the game and we were like, hey, let’s go one more so we can get some brotherly love going on,” explained Walker, who coached the brothers in Kalama. “He wound up hitting him with a fastball. There was no doubt about it that he hit him intentionally.”
Walker made sure to extend his gratitude to coaches and players and fans who were able to make it out to the game. He also expressed thanks to Lower Columbia College and the Cowlitz Black Bears for allowing the game to be played at David Story Field.
“I think with the talented kids that we have we probably should have done this a long time ago so there’s no reason that we shouldn’t do it year in and year out,” Walker said.
Sawyer Burdick, Adna, 12
Hayden Wilson, Kalama, 12
Tommy Brandenburg, Kalama, 10
Brennon Vance, Kalama, 11
Chase Staup, Kalama, 11
Seth Butler, Napavine, 12
Ben Woodrum, Napavine, 12
AJ Volks, Onalaska, 12
Tristan Lawrence, Onalaska, 12,
Logan Grabenhorst, Toutle Lake, 12
James Anderson, Wahkiakum, 12
Luke Brown, Wahkiakum, 12
Ashden Niemeyer, Wahkiakum, 10
Beau Carlson, Wahkiakum, 10
Camden Ryan, Adna, 12
Chance Fay, Adna, 12
Bradey Vance, Kalama, 12
Alex Dyer, Kalama, 12
Brennan Shriver, Mossyrock, 12
Laythan Demarest, Napavine, 10
Ashton haight, Onalaska, 11
Tanner McLain, Onalaska, 12
Ricky Cruse, Rainier, 12
Zach Lofgren, Rainier, 12
Wyatt Coleman, Rainier, 12
Cole Reise, Rainier, 12
Hunter Eaton, Toledo, 12
Ridge Moss, Toutle Lake, 12
Duece Kolb, Mossyrock, 12