The combined All Star teams of Greater Helotes and Northside Suburban Little Leagues traveled to Abilene, Texas for the Little League West Texas Championship. This marked the first time in years that the Big League team from the Helotes area qualified for the State tournament.
The Big League division is for players aged 16 to 18. Players from O’Connor, Taft, Brandeis, and others joined together to form the team. Coach Tony Martinez, whose son played for Northside Suburban and college, had the honors of coaching the young men.
“We have 6 or 7 pitchers,” said Martinez. “Our strength is everyone came together in such a short season. Each of these players know each other—have played against each other, it was a joy to watch them jell together. This team operates with a team mentality.
Baseball is like a chess game. I encourage our players to take their time. There is no need to rush. Our pitchers focus and take it one pitch at a time. If a pitcher has a wild pitch or seems to be disappointed in the pitch placement, I encourage them to get comfortable, focus, and get back into the grove. If the pitcher takes his time and focuses his accuracy will be there at the plate.”
Martinez encourages his players to play different positions and roles. Each player should be interchangeable on the diamond. Jacob Krug, Joseph Trevino, and Ben Zeitlow each spend time on the bump and behind the dish. Krug serves as the team’s primary catcher. However, in the last game of the sectional championship he played the whole game on the bump. Krug threw 57 pitches in five innings. The game ended in five because of the 10 run rule in baseball.
In baseball or softball if a team scores 10 runs or more than their opponent the game ends after 4 ½ innings.
Offensively, the team had two excellent bunters who could lay the ball down on either side of the diamond. Cameron Mulcher and Jacob Krug each combined for a couple of homeruns in different games. Martinez reminds every player a base hit is just as important as a homerun because the base hits bring the runners home.
The team won the district and sectional tournament. At the State tournament in Abilene the team faced the Garland Little League All Stars. Unfortunately for the boys their season ended as State runner-ups.