For the first time in five years, the Laramie 11-12 year old All-Stars are State Champions and are headed back to California.

Garrett Dodd homered twice and drove in five runs in Laramie’s 8-4 victory over Cody in the Wyoming State Little League championship game Saturday in Lovell.

In fact, the 11-12 All-Stars hit three home runs for a fourth consecutive game, as Camden Shipman also went deep. It helped Laramie sweep through the post-season in Wyoming with a 7-0 record.

Manager Jerry Dodd said there was a lot of excitement after the final out.

“Our biggest goal was to win this title and represent Laramie well. We achieved what we wanted, which was to win the state championship.”

Dodd added that it took the entire squad to accomplish their goal.

“We had to have all 13 kids buy in to going out and playing hard and putting forth the work and effort. This shows we have team players.”

Shipman hit a two-run shot in the second inning for a 2-0 Laramie lead. Dodd hit a three-run home run in the fourth that made it 5-0. Darek Squires added an RBI-single for a 6-0 lead.

Cody answered with four runs in the fifth and cut Laramie’s lead to 6-4. Then with two outs and a man on, Dodd went deep again which made it 8-4. Shipman struck out two batters, and then after he gave-up a hit, snagged a line drive that ended it.

Jerry Dodd thought Shipman’s blast was the one that got them going.

“Those two at-bats were key. Darek’s double followed by Camden’s home run really got the confidence rolling. Our approach at the plate really changed. Once we had those good, positive at-bats, it was huge for us.”

Laramie had 15 hits, including two apiece by six different players. Squires, Jaedyn Brown and Ben Ruckman each had a double.

Garrett Dodd went four-and-one-third innings on the mound and got the victory. He allowed three runs on four hits with six strike-outs. Shipman closed out the last one-and-two-thirds for the save. He surrendered a run on three hits with three strike-outs.

Jerry Dodd said, “Garrett did throw well. He kept them off-balance and got some big plays behind him. It helped knowing there was a solid defense behind him.”

Laramie will head back to California for the Northwest Regional Tournament August 7-13.

Jerry Dodd said knowing they are going back to California the excitement level is at a major high.

“That’s been the goal from day one. This is the second time I’ve been as a coach. I know what it is and what it’s all about. This is what we’ve been gearing up for. To finally reach that pinnacle and get back to the history of Laramie baseball, now they can experience it.”

The 11-12 All-Stars will face the Pacific Little League from Edmonds and Lynnwood, WA in their first game on Sunday, August 7 at 5 p.m., Mountain Time.