EULESS - The Texas Rockies 13U baseball team entered the spring supporting a national ranking by the United State Sports Specialty Association (USSSA) as the 20th highest rated triple-a ball club in the country and were primed and ready to build off its success attained over their previous two seasons in 2018 that consisted of a program high thirty-eight wins, eight top three finishes, and one championship title.
On what turned out to be a cool and windy weekend at the Parks at Texas Star in Euless, the Rockies stepped onto the baseball field geared up for their first action of the spring by competing in the DFW Metroplex Opener NIT. The tournament featured eight teams competing in the 13U division who would each be slated with a two-game pool play schedule on Saturday, then seeded based on overall record and average runs allowed serving as a tiebreaker metric prior to the participants being slotted into a single elimination bracket on Sunday to crown a champion. The Rockies began the two-day event with an impressive victory versus the ASB Sun Devils (10-1) on Saturday afternoon but later fell in the nightcap to the Dallas Tigers (10-6) to split the team's pool play schedule. After the tournament's first day of action came to a close, the Rockies found themselves as the fourth seed heading into Sunday's single elimination bracket that created a "4 vs. 5" matchup against USA Prime. On Sunday, the Rockies seemingly wouldn't let anyone stand in the way of their path as tournament's second day of action began in historical fashion with Davis Hardenburg tossing the 23rd no-hitter in the Texas Rockies Baseball Organization to allow the Rockies to cruise past USA Prime (15-0). Following the dominating performance in the bracket play opener, the Rockies proceeded to defeat the top seeded Texas Raiders (9-5) and the ASB Sun Devils (16-4) to claim their first championship title of the season. Following the conclusion of the championship game, the players and coaching staff comprised of the Texas Rockies 13U baseball team were presented with gold rings for their first-place finish in the DFW Metroplex Opener NIT tournament.
An exceptional display of hitting, dominant pitching performances, and a superb effort on defense highlighted a weekend in which the Rockies remained clicking on all cylinders and witnessed each of the twelve-members aiding in the ball club's first championship title of the season. The Rockies prolific offense outscored their opposition 56-20 in the tournament, accumulating forty-six hits and posted a .430 batting average across their five games played over the weekend. Aaron Reeves' production at the plate merited him with the honor as the program's Offensive Player of the Week following a 11-for-15 performance at the plate that included three doubles, two triples, one grand slam, eight RBI, and ten runs scored. Tyler Sessions was equally as impressive as his teammate swinging the bat by going 7-for-9 (.778) with one double and two triples in the tournament. A few other players of note were Carter Cole, Caden Robert, Collin Nicholson, and Luke Jordan, who also contributed with four hits each on the weekend as the Rockies' lineup, from top to bottom, consistently terrorized the opponent's pitching staff.
While the Rockies' high powered offense continued to put runs on the scoreboard, their pitching staff continuously flexed its dominance on the mound. In twenty-one innings of work, the Rockies' hurlers collectively posted a 4.00 ERA by allowing just twelve earned runs and twenty-eight hits, while striking out fourteen opposing batters. Right handed pitcher Davis Hardenburg was tabbed as the program's Pitcher of the Week following his outing on Sunday versus the USA Prime in which he tossed the 23rd no-hitter in the history of the Texas Rockies Baseball Organization. Also providing the Rockies with strong outings on the hill were the trio of right-handed pitchers Caden Robert, Tyler Sessions, and Will Maya, who each collected a win in their starts over the weekend. The success attained by the Rockies' pitching staff was accrued by the valiant efforts exhibited by the team's stout defense which was led by the organization's Defensive Player of the Week, Lee Schlehuber. The Rockies' utility man was superb at the second base position where he recorded six assists, seven putouts, two double plays, and remained errorless in thirteen total chances in the tournament. Carter Cole, Aaron Reeves, and Luke Jordan also helped fortify a Texas Rockies 13U defense by showing exceptional glove work in the field to lead the ball club to a .926 fielding percentage in the DFW Metroplex NIT tournament.
On Monday afternoon, the Texas Rockies Baseball Organization was notified by the United State Sports Specialty Association (USSSA) that the Texas Rockies 13U baseball team has officially been given a promotion to compete at the majors level. With this achievement, the Rockies became the second ball club in the program's history to accomplish this feat. The Texas Rockies Baseball Organization would like to congratulate these young men for their accomplishments on the field and obtaining a status that can only be achieved by through dedication and hard work. The Rockies will be back in action to compete in their first majors level tournament on March 23-24.