Central Michigan Stars 16U baseball team advances to Colt League World Series

HEADED TO COLT LEAGUE WORLD SERIES: The Central Michigan Stars 16U baseball team won the North Zone Colt League Tournament on Saturday to qualify for the Colt World Series. (Courtesy photo)

HEADED TO COLT LEAGUE WORLD SERIES: The Central Michigan Stars 16U baseball team won the North Zone Colt League Tournament on Saturday to qualify for the Colt World Series. (Courtesy photo)

REMUS — The Central Michigan Stars baseball team came one win away from reaching the Colt World Series three years ago.

The Stars made it their goal to get another opportunity to qualify for the World Series, and they accomplished just that last weekend. The 16U Stars, comprised mostly of players from Chippewa Hills, Mount Pleasant, Alma and Clare, defeated Great Lakes Bay Area on Saturday to win the North Zone Colt League Tournament and advance to the World Series in Lafayette, Indiana.

The Stars open Colt World Series play at 8 p.m. Friday. There are eight teams representing countries from across the world in the tournament.

“We’re heading there to win the World Series,” Stars coach Keith Young said. “It will probably be tough, though. A lot of the international teams play baseball year-round.”

Young and assistant coach Craig Schafer have coached the Stars for years, retaining a majority of the same players each season, including their sons Austin Young and Cade Schafer.

Cade said team chemistry has been instrumental in the Stars’ success this season. They are 16-7-1 and have won three tournaments.

“I think we have really gotten to know each other,” Cade said. “We’re all friends now that we’ve been playing together for years. We’re playing our best at the right part of the season.”

Keith said Cade and Austin, both Chippewa Hills juniors, have had productive summer seasons. Cade, an outfielder and pitcher, leads the team with a .351 batting average, while Austin, a catcher, outfielder and pitcher, is second at .345.

“They have committed to this team for the last five years,” Keith said. “Their goals were to make the World Series as a team, and they have worked hard to make this goal happen.”

The coaching staff has had to shuffle players around defensively all season, but Keith said they have adjusted well. With only 14 players on the team and most of them involved in other sports as well, they rarely have had the same lineup. However, the team’s offense has continued to produce.

“Our offense is definitely one of our strengths,” Keith said. “We score a lot of runs.”

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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