The first ever state tournament appearance for Greater Sealy Little League might have started out on a loss but the Tigers soon bounced back to keep them in the running as the top team in the state.
Bridge City, champions of Section 2’s District 32 drew the Section 1 champion, Sealy, to start the top tournament in the state last Saturday evening on Field 3 of Faulkner Park in Tyler.
Although the Tigers ended up on the short end of the 8-7 decision, the double-elimination bracket moved them down to the lower bracket and set up a meeting with the Needville Blue Jays after their 14-1 loss at the hands of West University Place.
The Sealy bats found their spark in Game 2 the following day and they helped the Tigers rebound with their backs against the wall to eliminate Needville by a 10-3 score and extend their season one more day.
After the Sealy-Needville contest, West University handed Bridge City a 14-5 loss to set up the second meeting between the Section 1 and 2 champions Monday night with both teams owning one loss, setting up a do-or-die semifinal game.
Bridge City got out to a hot start and finished ahead by a 12-1 score which set up its second shot at West University with the title on the line. If Bridge City was able to notch a win against West U, then a true win-or-go-home championship game was set for 30 minutes after Game 6.
The Tigers’ season ended there as the third overall team in the Junior Little League Texas East State Tournament after a season that re-wrote the record books and served as a dream come true for Manager Steve Aguado.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to come home and coach a good group of kids and give back, you could say it’s my community service,” he said in an interview leading up to the state tournament. “It’s really important community service, doing what I love is coaching baseball; I’ve coached select baseball in the past and it’s just been great there’s nothing more fulfilling and gives you that feeling like, ‘I’m back in town coaching a group of kids from your hometown,’ so it’s been pretty fun.”
His team was able to get the wins they needed to qualify for this state tournament which hadn’t been done in the history of Greater Sealy Little League, and Aguado added he couldn’t have done it without his staff.
“The boys have been just amazing, can’t say enough my coaching; Randall Browning, Bradley Miller they’ve done an outstanding job sacrificing time to help and come out to coach,” he said. “Michael Tyler helping out with the pitch counts and the lineup, Jason Kainer helping out during practice, you got a good community of kids playing and a great community of guys trying to help get the kids ready for the next game. I’ll tell you what it’s been pretty phenomenal, lucky I was blessed to be picked to manage the team and I couldn’t ask for more in a supporting cast helping with these boys.”