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Rangers Academy Notebook: 12U team set to showcase skills in New Orleans

February 14, 2020

A 12U team from the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, is on the road this weekend to compete in the inaugural New Orleans MLB Youth Academy 12U Tournament, held in connection to the collegiate baseball Andre Dawson Classic tournament at the New

A 12U team from the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, is on the road this weekend to compete in the inaugural New Orleans MLB Youth Academy 12U Tournament, held in connection to the collegiate baseball Andre Dawson Classic tournament at the New Orleans MLB Youth Academy and Pontchartrain Park.

From today, Friday, Feb. 14 through Sunday, Feb. 16, the 12U athletes will attend Andre Dawson Classic games featuring Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). The festivities will include recognition prior to the Saturday, Feb. 15 contest between Grambling State University and the University of New Orleans.

Juan Leonel Garciga, the director of the Rangers Academy, will serve as a coach on the trip.

“This will be the first time our 12U athletes will compete in a tournament outside of Dallas, and it’s going to be a fun test to see how we measure up against other top programs,” Garciga said. “Even more important than the outcome of our tournament is exposing our young athletes to quality college baseball being played by young men who look like they do, which isn’t always what they are used to.”

The trip marks the first time a 12U team from the Academy has gone on the road for a tournament. In the past year, Academy 12U teams have participated in tournaments at the Texas Rangers Youth Ballpark.

Tryouts were held in January, where 12U athletes who have been regular participants in Academy programming were invited to showcase their skills for this tournament and additional opportunities.

The Texas Rangers Youth Academy squad for the New Orleans MLB Youth Academy 12U Tournament is below.

The tournament also features Team MLB 12U Select from the MLB New Orleans Youth Academy; Chicago White Sox ACE (White) and Chicago White Sox ACE (Black); Big Easy Batmen from New Orleans; and St. Bernard Travel Team from New Orleans.

Below is the schedule for the Academy team in the tournament:

Date | Time | Teams | Location
Feb. 14 | 5:30 p.m. | Team MLB vs Texas Rangers Academy | New Orleans MLBYA

Date | Time | Teams | Location
Feb. 15 | 12 p.m. | Chicago White Sox ACE (White) vs Texas Rangers Academy | New Orleans MLBYA
Feb. 15 | 6 p.m. | Texas Rangers Academy vs St. Bernard Travel Team | New Orleans MLBYA

Date | Time | Teams | Location
Feb. 16 | 8 a.m. | GAME 1 of Quarterfinals – 4th seed vs 5th seed | New Orleans MLBYA
Feb. 16 | 10 a.m. | GAME 2 of Quarterfinals – 3rd seed vs 6th seed | New Orleans MLBYA
Feb. 16 | 12 p.m. | Semifinals – 1st seed vs winner of GAME 1 | New Orleans MLBYA
Feb. 16 | 2 p.m. | Semifinals – 2nd seed vs winner of GAME 2 | New Orleans MLBYA
Feb. 16 | 4 p.m. | Championship Game | New Orleans MLBYA

In addition to the on-field experience, the inaugural tournament will provide participants a glimpse into the legacy of HBCUs, as well as present HBCUs as viable options for both academics and athletics.

High School Baseball & Softball Underway

LG Pinkston High School baseball hosts Sam Houston tonight, Friday, Feb. 14, as the high school baseball and softball season continues at the Academy.

For the third straight year, Pinkston High School baseball and softball teams are calling the Academy home. Sunset High School baseball will also play its home games at the Academy, and the Sunset softball squad will join them in playing their 2020 home games at the facility.

Thomas Jefferson High School baseball and softball teams are playing their home games at the Academy for the first time in 2020 due to the damage their fields sustained from the tornadoes that hit Dallas in Oct. 2019.

Below is the February softball schedule for DISD high school games to be played at the Academy. Scheduling is subject to change. March and April dates and opponents will be included in future notebooks.

Softball Schedule
Date | Home | Opponent | Level | Time | Location
2/24 | Thomas Jefferson | Desoto | JV | 4 p.m. | Hamilton
2/24 | Thomas Jefferson | Desoto | Varsity | 6 p.m. | Hamilton
2/25 | Pinkston | Madison | Varsity | 6:30 p.m. | Hamilton

Below is the February baseball schedule for DISD high school baseball games to be played at the Academy. Scheduling is subject to change. March, April, and May dates and opponents will be included in future notebooks.

Baseball Schedule
Date | Home | Opponent | Level | Time | Location
2/14 | Pinkston | Arlington- Sam Houston | Varsity | 7 p.m. | Oates
2/18 | Thomas Jefferson | Sunset | Varsity | 4:30 p.m. | Oates
2/19 | Thomas Jefferson | Sunset | JV | 4 p.m. | Oates
2/21 | Pinkston | Uplift Heights | Varsity | 7 p.m. | Oates
2/21 | Sunset | R.L. Turner | JV | 4:30 p.m.| Field of Dreams
2/21 | Sunset | R.L. Turner | Varsity | 7 p.m. | Field of Dreams
2/22 | Sunset | Richardson Berkner | JV | 2 p.m. | Oates
2/22 | Sunset | Richardson Berkner | Varsity | 4 p.m. | Oates
2/22 | Thomas Jefferson | Spruce | Varsity | 10 a.m. | Field of Dreams
2/25 | Thomas Jefferson | Adamson | Varsity | 4:30 p.m. | Field of Dreams

Winter Academy Training Program

The Winter Academy Training Program is underway. Programming runs through Feb. 27.

Monday and Wednesday sessions are tailored for 18U baseball and softball players and run from 6:30-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday sessions, designed for 12U baseball and softball players, are from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Registration is available at texasrangers.com/academy.