CM Stars return to nationals with help from Tarbell, Schafer

CALIFORNIA — As part of the Central Michigan Stars, Chippewa Hills graduates Jake Tarbell and Ty Schafer have helped the team make its way to a third-straight Palamino National Tournament.

A 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Yellowjackets (Ill.) on Saturday in the Palamino North Zone Tournament championship game at CMU’s Theunissen Stadium put the Stars in the tournament, which will be held in Compton, Calif. on August 1-5, for the third-consecutive summer.

Tarbell is in his second year with the under-19 squad while Schafer is playing for the team for the first time, but the accomplishment of making it to the national tournament was a special moment for both players.

“It was quite the experience to be able to get to the national tournament,” Tarbell said. “To be able to do it with Ty and being able to represent the Chippewa Hills program is a special thing.”

ON TO THE NEXT ONE: Chippewa Hills grads Ty Schafer (left) and Jake Tarbell pose with their medals after winning the Palomino North Zone Tournament at CMU on Saturday as part of the CM Stars baseball team. (Courtesy photo)

“I’ve never had the opportunity to make it to the national tournament game with the team before, so it’s really exciting to be able to do it in my first year on the team,” Schafer said. “It means a lot to show people that our team is the best in the north when you’re going against some of the best competition you can go against at this level.”

A trip to the national tournament has become a summer tradition for the Stars. The 2011 team, which featured Tarbell’s brother Erik, won the national tournament and the 2012 edition of the Stars made it back to the national tournament, but was eliminated from the tournament after losses to eventual 2012 champion Taiwan and the Arroyo Seco Saints (Calif.)

After playing on the team last year, Tarbell said the sting from last year’s defeats helped motivate the Stars, who went 29-11 this summer, to get back to the national tournament to get a chance to reclaim the national title.

“It’s great to be able to have a chance to come back to the national tournament,” he said. “Hopefully, we can come back home with a title.”

To get back to the tournament, Tarbell and Schafer helped the Stars take care of business in the North Zone Tournament championship on Saturday, with Tarbell hitting a three-run home run and an RBI double in the game.

With the North Zone Tournament featuring some of the best players from states likeIllinois, Indiana, Michigan and Missouri, Tarbell said being able to come out on top in the tournament shows what kind of baseball players the central part of Michigan can produce.

“I think it says a lot about the players and coaches we have on this team to be able to get to the national tournament year after year,” he said. “It shows the kind of baseball talent there is in the area.”

Tarbell and Schafer, who will both be playing baseball for Delta College this school year, and the rest of the Stars will now focus on facing Puerto Rico in their tournament opener today.

While they don’t know much about their opening opponent, Schafer said the Stars will just need to focus on playing the best they can in order to reach the ultimate goal of a national title.

“We just have to stay focused on our goal,” he said. “The competition is going to keep getting better as we go, so we just have to worry about ourselves and go out there and play our game and see what happens.”

Leave a Reply