Hustle Baseball Clears Early Adversity, Captures Global WS Title | Youth1

Hustle Baseball Clears Early Adversity, Captures Global WS Title

Hustle Baseball 12-Major (pictured) from McAllen, Texas, won this past weekend’s 300 Point Global NIT at BLD with a 4-1 record to hoist its fourth USSSA trophy this fall/winter season. Manager Eloy Chapa’s club outscored opponents 21 to 8 to improve its record to 20-9. In the championship game they defeated the excellent Banditos Black program (who was 12-3), 4-1.

This Global World Series Qualifier in League City, Texas, attracted 69 total teams across 10 age groups and classifications. The 12-Open division was the second-most attended with 10 squads competing for the trophy. The split of quality was nearly even; six Major teams and four AAA. The format was similar to other USSSA tournaments – a two game pool play schedule then single elimination bracket seeded from pool play to determine a champion.

Hustle Baseball got out of the gates fast with a 9-1 blowout of 12U Hooks Baseball – Gulf Coast in pool play. Branden Leon got the start on the mound for the winning side and was only needed to pitch two frames before giving way to a duo of relievers, Lucas Tinajero and Mateo Garcia: each of whom pitched one inning. The second pool game was a different story as Hustle faced a game Venom Baseball team from Victoria, Texas. Venom blanked Hustle Baseball 3-0 delivered a blow to the eventual-champions’ seeding.

Hustle was placed fourth overall behind two 2-0 teams, HTX Swing Kings and Venom as well as the Banditos Black who were 1-0-1 but ahead of the three other 1-1 squads. In the quarterfinals they played Hooks Baseball again, a rematch from the first game of the tournament. This time it was much closer as Hooks but up a good fight, but ultimately lost 4-3. Brandon Leon once again pitched and threw 3.1 innings and was joined on the mound by Nyles Alvarez who recorded nine outs.

In the semifinals Hustle entered as underdogs against the top-seeded HTX Swing Kings fresh off a 9-1 trouncing of the Raptors. Hustle saved its best performance of the Global World Series Qualifier for this game as they shutout the powerful HTX offense behind six stellar innings from Lucas Tinajero and one from Mateo Garcia. The Swing Kings had averaged nine runs per game in their previous three games.

Hustle advanced to the finals where they took on the Banditos who caught fire during bracket competition. They shut down the Diamond Dawgs 5-1 and dominated Venom Baseball 14-1. They would be stymied however by Brandon Leon (his third appearance in the tournament) and Nyles Alvarez as Chapa saved his best arms for the title. Hustle emerged victorious 4-1 and currently sit 11th in USSSA points ranking within the state of Texas.


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