Seeing All-Stars in their eyes
They may only be 12 years old, but when it comes to baseball, the Bridge City All-Stars are all seriousness.
In six games, they have outscored their opponents 83-9 – making these young players a force to be reckoned with.
“I’ve been coaching these guys since they were seven years old,” Ronnie Shugart Jr., head coach, said. “Since that time, these kids have played over 400 baseball games while in little league, select play or year-round play. And you can tell their experience level on the field.”
In this past Sunday’s match-up with Barbers Hill, the Bridge City sluggers made short work of their opposition by downing them 11-1 in four innings.
“They are playing the best they have ever played,” Shugart said. “In our four district games and two sectional games so far we have had seven different players rack up 18 homeruns. I think that they are starting to realize that they have a real opportunity in front of them.”
And that opportunity is more than just advancing from sectional to state competition – even though they would be the first Bridge City little league all-star team to accomplish that, according to Shugart.
“They want to go to Williamsport (Penn.) and play in the Little League World Series,” he said. “It takes playing year round to get there, but these guys have been doing that for the past five years.”
Shugart said their bats are not the only thing that carries them to victory in their games, however, as they are a very talented defensive squad.
“Our real strength is our pitching,” he said. “In the past two games on the sectional level we only gave up two hits.”
So, while they look at the Texas East State Tournament in Tyler, Shugart said these 13 youngsters have their eye on the bigger prize.
“That will be a first for us, but they are hoping to make it to Williamsport,” he said.
And, possibly, they could take it all.
But the boys are not the only hot hitters in Orange County’s bayou city, as the 10-year-old and 12-year-old girls’ Little League All-Star softball teams were playing to advance to state competition on Tuesday night.
“Our little league took seven of nine district titles this year,” Brigg Patterson, Bridge City Little League president, said. “Our success has come from working hand in hand with select play and year round baseball. Some little leagues make their kids choose which they will do, but we try to keep it open as possible.”
To keep up with the Bridge City Little League All-Star teams, go to www.bcll.org online. The page contains a link for playoff brackets.