TEXAS CITY – Texas is rich in high school baseball tradition. For six decades, the longest running of those traditions has been found in Texas City.
The state’s longest running high school baseball tournament turned 60 years old this weekend. Ten teams, including co-hosts Texas City and Dickinson, took to the field to carry on that tradition.
Texas City coach Matt Cooper enjoys what the tournament represents personally.
“I graduated in 1995 and played in the tournament twice,” Cooper, a Texas City High School graduate said. “My brother played in it three times. It is definitely a tradition that I hope we keep going for as long as we can.”
Used to be Texas City was the lone site for the tourney, but a few years ago Dickinson coach Michael Boone teamed up with Cooper.
“That gives us an additional host site to help us bring really good competition to the area,” Cooper said.
The 10-team field is almost all 5A teams. Texas City is the lone 4A squad.
In addition to the Stings and Gators, Clear Creek, Clear Lake, Baytown Sterling, Conroe, Fort Bend Travis, Houston Chavez and Beaumont West Brook are part of the round-robin tournament.
Each team is guaranteed four games. It’s a good way for each team to get some game action in before the start of district play.
Well, that’s the plan. For many teams, district play started this week.
In fact, Texas City played a district game in the middle of the tournament Thursday night. The Stings were to play at Goose Creek Memorial on Thursday in a weather-delayed game. But the recent chills and rain forced the game to Texas City Robinson Stadium on Thursday night.
“It’s kind of unusual to play a district game right in the middle of a tournament, but we worked it in,” Cooper said.
The Stings then had to turn around on Friday and play back-to-back tournament games — both loses.
“I think these games really help us prepare by getting us some good competition before district really gets going,” Cooper said.
The tournament hasn’t been too kind to the Stings; after dropping games to Baytown Sterling and Beaumont West Brook on Friday, they are on a 10-game losing streak.
The Gators faired better. After opening the tournament with a win over Chavez, the Gators dropped a game to Conroe.
Dickinson bounced back and downed Fort Bend Travis, 4-3, on Friday.
Clear Springs had a big win thanks to a Reed Ballard no-hitter in a 4-0 win over Chavez on Friday.
Ballard had another big game right after, going 2-for-3 from the plate in a 3-1 victory over Conroe.
The tournament resumes at 10 a.m. today with games at Robinson Stadium and Gator Field.
60th annual Texas City/Dickinson Baseball Tournament
Time, Robinson Stadium, Gator Field
10 a.m., Springs vs Sterling, Conroe vs Chavez
12:30 p.m., Sterling vs Clear Lake, FB Travis vs Chavez
3 p.m., FB Bush vs Clear Lake, FB Travis vs Conroe
5:30 p.m., Texas City vs FB Bush, Dickinson vs West Brook