Tester: Big Sky All-Stars bringing our state together
Senator’s remarks on team will appear in the Congressional Record
(BUTTE, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today congratulated the Big Sky All-Stars on their impressive run to the U.S. Championship Game at the Little League World Series.
Tester’s remarks on the team’s amazing success will appear in the Congressional Record after Labor Day.
The team from Billings advanced last night by defeating California in a thrilling 1-0 contest that ended with a game-winning, walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“Despite our state not even having a million people, Montana’s All-Stars didn’t blink when taking on the team from Huntington Beach, California last night,” Tester states in his remarks. “It’s honestly no surprise to me that the Big-Sky All Stars keep punching above their weight class. That’s why Montanans from Billings to Libby rally around these young players.”
The Big Sky All-Stars have defeated teams from South Dakota, Louisiana and California on their journey to Saturday’s U.S. Championship Game in South Williamsport, Pa.
Saturday’s game, which will be held at 1 p.m. (MT), will pit Montana against the winner of tonight’s game between Pennsylvania and California.
Tester today called to congratulate Ben Askelson, the slugger who hit the home run last night, and to wish the entire team good luck in Saturday’s game.
Tester plans to watch Saturday’s game in Billings at Petro Hall on the MSU-Billings campus.
Tester’s remarks appear below and HERE.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester
Billings Little League Team
August 25, 2011
Mr. President, I rise to share some exciting news from my home state of Montana. As many already know, the Little League World Series is nearing its thrilling completion. Montana’s team, the Big Sky All-Stars from Billings, will play in the U.S. Championship Game on Saturday after its breathtaking win last night.
This Billings team is the first team from Montana to reach the Little League World Series. Only eight teams from the thousands of Little Leagues across the country make it to the World Series held in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania each year. One of our boys, Ian Leatherberry, originally said that the team was just hoping to make it to the regional tournament. Now, they’ve played so long that they have a good excuse for missing the first week of school.
Behind the leadership of Manager Gene Carlson and his coaches, these Treasure State champs have become the talk of the tournament and the nation. Behind great pitching, outstanding defense and timely hitting, they quickly proved they belonged by defeating South Dakota and Louisiana, winning each game by a thrilling two-run margin.
Despite our state not even having a million people, Montana’s All-Stars didn’t blink when taking on the team from Huntington Beach, California last night. Montana’s starting pitcher Cole McKenzie battled California’s hitters, holding them scoreless. Then, Ben Askelson hit a dramatic walk-off home run to give our boys an amazing 1-0 win in extra innings.
It’s honestly no surprise to me that the Big-Sky All Stars keep punching above their weight class. Whether competing in Little League baseball or contributing vital resources to our economy, Montana thrives off competing with the big boys. That’s why Montanans from Billings to Libby rally around these young players.
I wish Gene and his players the best of luck in the National Championship game Saturday and will be cheering for them with all of Montana. I know the boys will continue to play with great skill and determination, and make everyone from the Big Sky State proud.