A season to remember

Ennis youth baseball team brings home league championship on a walkoff in extra innings

There were two outs and the bases were loaded. The game was in the bottom of the seventh and Ennis was out of pitching options for the next inning. That’s when Miles Gilbert stepped up to the plate and ripped a line drive into left field to win it for Ennis.

The Ennis youth baseball team won the Gallatin Valley Baseball League (GVBL) championship after an incredible spring season. The championship roster was made up of players from both Ennis and Virginia City. The GVBL Minors division is made up of 9, 10 and 11 year olds. The league totals 14 teams. Including teams from Townsend, Three Forks, Whitehall, Harrison, Sheridan, Manhattan and Amsterdam.

Ennis had a dominant regular season, finishing 9-1 overall and first place in the league. According to coach Justin Gatewood, this has not been a historically lucky position.

“The team that has won the regular season has never won the championship in the past, it was almost somewhere you didn’t want to be,” Gatewood said.

The only loss of the regular season was against a tough Amsterdam team. However, in the end of the season tournament they were able to avenge their loss with a big win in the semifinals against the same Amsterdam team to get them to the championship game. Ennis faced off against a tough Three Forks team in the championship game.

While most games in the GVBL are high scoring, this one was a pitching duel for the ages. The score was tied 2-2 to finish the 6th inning, which sent the game to extra innings. What happened next is something that young baseball players dream of. With the bases loaded and two outs, Miles Gilbert stepped to the plate and proceeded to hit a rocket line drive down the left field line to walk it off and win it for Ennis 3-2. Gatewood said that the championship run was a culmination of the team's goals since the beginning of the season.

“In the first practice we set three goals, to get better every day, to root on and encourage our teammates, and to have fun, and I think we accomplished that this year,” Gatewood said.

The Ennis team would like to thank all of their sponsors after their incredible season.

“Without them, we couldn’t get these kids in jerseys and sweatshirts. They were a huge help,” Gatewood said.

Gatewood gave credit to everyone involved in this championship team this year, including all coaches, kids, parents and the commissioner and secretary of the league.

“Every single kid, every single coach and even every single parent had their moment this year to help us eventually win… It was one of those great experiences in life that you probably won’t ever forget,” Gatewood said.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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