Tarbell, Conley named to Division 2 all-state team

REMUS — It isn’t the fact that they weren’t all-state, but the fact that they were on the team to begin with that impresses Chippewa Hills baseball coach Ben Wright.

Jake Tarbell and Colton Conley were named to the Division 2 all-state second team after guiding the team to the quarterfinal round this season.

Though Wright would have liked both players to be on the first team, being recognized at all is an accomplishment in its own right. Only five pitchers and two first basemen earned first-team all-state status.

DYNAMIC DUO: Jake Tarbell (left) and Colton Conley (far right) were a major reason for Chippewa Hills' success this season. (Pioneer file photo)

“I thought both had good chance (at first team) because the distance our team went,” Wright said. “But when you are putting players together, we had a pitcher in the top 10 in the state and a first baseman who was in the top four. So, regardless where they finished, it’s a tremendous accomplishment.”

Tarbell finished the season with a 14-2 record with 151 strikeouts and a 1.35 earn run average. The junior just completed his third season on varsity and that experience was a big part of his success, Wright said.

“He went out and performed,” he said. “Jake has a tremendous amount of confidence and pitched well all year. This has been years in the making. He’s played a lot of baseball.”

Tarbell was a big reason why Chippewa Hills was able to capture its fifth straight Central State Activities Association title, a second consecutive district crown and the first regional title in 27 years.

The Warriors fell in the quarterfinal round to Bay City John Glenn 7-0 at Central Michigan University.

Another reason for the success was Conley.

The senior first baseman was solid at the corner, hitting .440 with 13 doubles and three home runs. He also drove in 36 runs, while scoring 41 runs.

Wright knew Conley was in store to having a big season in the winter.

“We started hitting on a Monday in January and the first person in line was Colton,” Wright said. “He is a tireless worker. His stats got better, but his approach grew tremendously.”

Conley said his success came because of the practice put in and his teammates around him.

“We always worked on hitting and fielding, all around we worked hard every day in practice,” Conley said. “I wanted to do my best, but I wanted to succeed because of my teammates. This honor is as much them as it is me.”

It is that team success that drove Conley to do better each time he took the field and is a big reason why the Warriors were able to set a school record for 33 victories in a season.

“When you are winning, you think about how to keep winning and not think about anything else,” Conley said.

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