A well written sports story or movie features an underdog, disappointment, perseverance and the thrill of victory. Grimes County Machine Pitch All Stars played the role of stars to perfection battling from the loser’s bracket to win the District 13 Little League All Star Machine Pitch Tournament in Bellville.
A group of players from three machine pitch boys’ teams in Grimes County were selected to represent the Grimes County Little League All Stars (GCLL) and with just a little over a week of practice represented the league with the best allstar performance in years.
GCLL lost in a hardfought heartbreaker to open tournament play Thursday, July 23, falling to Hempstead 19-18 in an extra-inning battle that lasted nine-innings. The loss sent GCLL into the treacherous waters of the loser’s bracket.
“Our boys faced adversity in the first game but never gave up, never wavered, kept their heads up, remained calm and fought their way out of the loser’s bracket,” said GCLL coach Wes Male. After falling into the deep end of the loser’s bracket, GCLL began swimming against the current fighting tirelessly one game at a time toward their ultimate goal of a championship.
GCLL defeated Bellville Black 15-5 Friday, July 24 to earn a Saturday showdown rematch against Hempstead. This time GCLL had revenge on their mind and knocked the little sluggers from Hempstead out of the tournament with a 16-10 victory.
The win over Hempstead on Saturday, July 25, set up a seemingly impossible matchup with previously unbeaten Bellville Red. With GCLL advancing from the loser’s bracket and one loss already under their belt, and Bellville entering from the winner’s bracket, it meant GCLL must not only beat Belville but had to double-dip (beat them twice) them to secure a championship.
Although tired from battling to the championship, GCLL continued fighting stroke by stroke upstream and edged out a 12-11 win over Bellville Sunday, July 26 setting up a winner take all game.
In their first doubleheader of the season, GCLL showed relentless effort battling toe-to-toe in the championship bout, and in true underdog fashion knocked off the topranked contender – Bellville Red – by a score of 13-7.
“Our team got better each game and we are so proud of them and their accomplishments,” stated Male. “This is a great group of boys who have great parents. They buckled in with us on this roller coaster ride. Congratulations boys, you made Grimes County proud earning District 13 All Star Champions.”
Male also expressed gratitude to Kyle Warzon owner of 4 Fifteen Construction who sponsored uniforms for the team.
GCLL Machine Pitch All Star team members
Coaches: Wes Male, Joe Young and Keith Zimmerman.
Players: Ryder Sechelski, Jaxon Male, Coney Haynie, Travis Cowthon, Garrett Ham, Evan Zimmerman, Damacio Rodriguez, Sawyer Young, Owen Smith, Carson Small, Tobias Blankenship, Dax Williams, Gracen Currie, Caleb Jackson and Bryce Allen.