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Sept. 19, 2020

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Senior Salute: Memories of 2015 Babe Ruth team sustain Camas High baseball players

High schools: Tim Martinez

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:
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From left, Tyler Forner, Kolby Broadbent, Riley Sinclair and Gideon Malychewski are all members of the 2020 Camas High School baseball team who played on the 2015 Camas-Washougal Babe Ruth team that advanced to the World Series (Photos courtesy of Kris Cavin)
From left, Tyler Forner, Kolby Broadbent, Riley Sinclair and Gideon Malychewski are all members of the 2020 Camas High School baseball team who played on the 2015 Camas-Washougal Babe Ruth team that advanced to the World Series (Photos courtesy of Kris Cavin) Photo Gallery

Mention the 2015 Babe Ruth World Series to seniors of the Camas High School baseball team, and memories flood back.

Kolby Broadbent remembers feeling like a big leaguer.

Tyler Forner recalls the competition.

One big play on defense comes to mind to Jackson Gibbs.

For Riley Sinclair, it was a rogue raccoon.

And for Gideon Malychewski, it was trying New York-style pizza.

“That was a thing,” Malychewski said. “After our first game, that’s what the whole team wanted to do: go try some New York pizza.”

All five played together on the Camas-Washougal Babe Ruth team that reached the World Series in Jamestown, N.Y. in 2015. Broadbent, Malychewski and Gibbs were also on a team that reached the Babe Ruth World Series in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., in 2017.

All five, most of whom grew up playing baseball together, were hoping to play one last season together for the Papermakers, before the coronavirus wiped out their senior season.

“Our Class of 2020, we wanted to be the best class to ever come through Camas,” Broadbent said. “We wanted to win a state championship in football and in baseball. … I think it would have meant more in baseball, just because it has never been done before in Camas history. It was really disappointing we didn’t get the chance to play. We felt like we had a really good shot at it.”

Winning a state championship was the original goal of the 2015 Babe Ruth team, which the team did so by rallying from a big early deficit to win in walk-off fashion.

“That feeling after doing that was incredible,” Broadbent said. “And it turned out to only be the beginning for us.”

The team would win the regional title in Idaho, then flew to Jamestown for the World Series.

“Once we got to New York, they put in a parade and we were on these big vehicles going through town,” Forner said. “It was surreal.”

Opening ceremonies before a packed crowd came next.

“It felt like I was on a major league field,” Broadbent said. “It was the nicest field I’ve ever been on. The stands were packed. It just felt like a dream come true.”

Senior Salute

Each week through June, Tim Martinez will spotlight a different high school senior athlete.

If you know of a senior who deserves some attention, send it to tim.martinez@columbian.com or send a direct message on Twitter to @360TMart.

Sinclair mostly remembers the time spent with teammates.

“Some of us went down to Pittsburgh to go to a Pirates game,” he said. “And we also took a trip to Niagara Falls, which was cool. And then I remember this raccoon that snuck under the guest house we were staying at. They had to trap it and get it out of there.”

Gibbs, who played second base on that team, remembers one play in particular at the World Series.

“This guy, he hit the ball and it looked like it was going to be an inside-the-park home run,” Gibbs said. “But then the right fielder threw to the ball to me, I threw to the first baseman, who threw to the catcher, which was Kolby. And Kolby tagged him out. I just remember running off the field after that play all fired up.”

Forner played shortstop on that team, an odd position for someone who is left-handed.

“But I think our backup shortstop was Gideon, who is also left-handed,” Forner said. “We just played where we thought we could help. I did get a lot of crap from some of the teams in New York. They were like ‘Hey, look at the lefty shortstop!’ ”

Forner called the entire experience eye-opening.

“The competition once we got to the World Series was absolutely insane,” Forner said. “We wished we would have gotten some of the names of those players. The teams from California or New York, they were like ‘wow.’ It really broadened our horizon. We faced this one guy, he was like 6-5 and was absolutely bringing gas.”

Forner and Broadbent played on the Camas High football team that won a state title last fall. Blake Ascuitto, another member of the 2015 Babe Ruth team, played quarterback.

The Papermakers were hoping to carry that winning attitude into the baseball season.

“That was one of our goals after our disappointing finish (last baseball season) — to come back and show everyone in the state who were in baseball,” Malychewski said. “It’s disappointing, but you can’t really do much about it but move forward.”

That’s what these five seniors are doing.

Sinclair hopes to play for the Ridgefield Raptors this summer before moving on to Seattle University in the fall.

Forner wanted to boost his stock in the baseball draft this spring. But now with an abbreviated draft, he still hopes a professional contract might be in his future.

“I definitely have a lot of confidence in myself,” Forner said. “I want to see how the draft goes, and the signing period after. I’m praying on it and waiting to see how this all plays out.”

The baseball days are likely over for Malychewski, Gibbs and Broadbent.

Malychewski plans to attend Clackamas Community College and compete for the wrestling team. Gibbs will focus on his studies at Washington State. Broadbent passed on a chance to continue his athletic pursuits at Linfield to study physiology and medical science while on a pre-med path at the University of Arizona.

“It’s going to be weird because I have never not played a sport,” Broadbent said.

While the players can’t remember a spring without baseball, the memories of the time they spent together in the past are helping them cope with what they’ve lost out on this spring.

“It’s funny because my buddies and I were recently talking baseball, and that 2015 team kept coming up,” Malychewski said. “We had so many memories of that experience, memories that will last a lifetime.”

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.

Camas High School senior Gideon Malychewski played on the 2015 Camas-Washougal Babe Ruth team that advanced to the World Series (Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin)
Camas High School senior Gideon Malychewski played on the 2015 Camas-Washougal Babe Ruth team that advanced to the World Series (Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin) Photo
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