Italy — On Friday and Saturday at the Upchurch Ball Fields in Italy, several teams from around Texas converged on Field 1 to battle for the right to advance in the Texas Teen-Age Baseball/Softball Association’s Boys State Tournament High School Eligible Boys State Baseball Tournament.
After Mart pulled out of the tournament before it began, the pool play games were updated and teams selected to compete in Italy were Clyde, Wortham, Goldwaithe, Timpson, Corsicana-Blue, Teague, Bangs and Bynum.
The Corsicana Tigers-Blue, head coached by Monte Casbeer, survived pool play, and then won their first game in the bracket by defeating Bynum 15-1 with pitcher Tyler Casbeer on the mound. Corsicana then slid past Teague 15-5 with pitcher Blake Whisenant and catcher Zach Rash keeping Teague’s high voltage offense unplugged to win the overall bracket and remain as one of four teams vying for the TTA State Championship that will continue in Hillsboro on Sunday.
Corsicana also relied on aggressive hitting to dispose of Bynum and Teague. In the bracket finale, Whisenant blasted a solo homerun over the left field fence as did Jacob “Sunshine” Peterson who sent an inside pitch over the left field fence for a 3-run homerun. Corsicana’s Joe West relied on his plate savvy to earn 5 walks and eventually accounted for five of Corsicana’s 15-runs.
Even more impressive than the level of play displayed by Corsicana-Blue and Teague, was the youthful spirit both teams have exhibited throughout the tournament. It was a pleasure meeting these young men and watching their supportive interaction with teammates and competitors. In fact all the towns involved should be proud of the sportsmanship displayed by the players representing their communities.
The IYAA hosted the games in Italy in a partnership effort with the Hillsboro Sports Association who needed an extra ball field to complete the state tournament pool play and bracket games in a timely manner.
The IYAA wishes to thank Sandra and Ken Norwood for all they do, their daughter Sa’Kendra Norwood who kept the books during Friday’s games, Randy Boyd, Clifford McDaniel and the City of Italy crews and IYAA President Gary Wood for helping to organize the event with Hillsboro.