Academy Notebook: Texas Rangers PLAYBALL Weekend; Recap: Memorial Day Weekend baseball & softball tournaments

June 3rd, 2022

Texas Rangers PLAYBALL Weekend

The Texas Rangers will host PLAYBALL Weekend from Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12, at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy and Globe Life Field.

The Rangers will host several events for North Texas youth during the weekend as part of Major League Baseball’s PLAYBALL initiative, which focuses on bringing kids together for fun physical activity and learning how to play the sport at its most basic levels.

Festivities will begin Friday, June 10, during 9U and 12U summer programming at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy. Texas Rangers mascot Captain will make a special appearance at the West Dallas facility to distribute PLAYBALL sets to athletes attending baseball and softball training.

On Saturday, Rangers RBI baseball and softball will play a full slate of games from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. across four Youth Academy fields. Texas Rangers alumni and Bally Sports Southwest broadcaster Steve Buechele will toss the ceremonial first pitch before the Vikings and Panthers face off at 9 a.m. on Johnny Oates Field. Buechele will also stand in as the first base coach for both teams.

Also happening on Saturday, the MLBPAA will host a free clinic for North Texas youngsters at the Youth Academy’s indoor field at the Globe Life Training Center. This Legends for Youth Clinic presented by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will see former MLB players teach kids the fundamentals of the game and helpful life skills.

PLAYBALL Weekend will conclude in grand fashion with a free clinic at Globe Life Field on Sunday, June 12. From 3 – 5 p.m., athletes ages 6 to 14 will be able to take the field like true major leaguers and participate in activities such as hitting, throwing, base running and more with help from Texas Rangers alumni and Rangers Captain.

Register for the free MLBPAA Legends Clinic here. Register for the free PLAYBALL event at Globe Life Field here.

Senior Baseball Memorial Day Weekend Tournament recap

Last weekend, the Texas Rangers Youth Academy had three RBI All-Star teams participate in Memorial Day Weekend Tournaments across North Texas. The Texas Rangers RBI 18U All-Star baseball team was among those competing and finished as runners-up in the Five Tool Texas DFW Kickoff Tournament.

The Rangers RBI senior team finished Saturday pool play with an 0-1-1 record but bounced back Sunday to win their final two games of pool play. Game four starting pitcher Casey Walls helped the team clinch its spot in the semifinals after a dominant performance on the mound striking out seven batters and allowing only two hits in six innings, holding the DFW Raiders scoreless.

In Monday’s semifinal game, the Rangers beat the USA Prime Cavemen-Garcia 9-3 to advance to the championship game. Nikolas Smith pitched a complete six-inning game with five strikeouts, and on offense, Anthony Winters led the team finishing the day 2-3 at the plate with 3 RBI.

Also advancing to the championship game was Marucci Elite, who handed the Rangers their first and only loss in pool play. The Rangers scored their sole run in the top of the first inning after leaving the bases loaded and were unable to answer after the game was cut to five innings for time. The Rangers RBI All-Star team eventually fell to Marucci Elite with a final score of 7-1.

Standout performances:

Aden Howard (Weekend): .429 AVG, .619 OBP, 9 R

Channing Vernon (Weekend): .429 AVG, .619 OBP, 7 R

Chris Marcellus (Weekend): .429 AVG

Casey Walls (Two Outings): 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 8 K

Junior Baseball Memorial Day Weekend Tournament recap

The Texas Rangers RBI 15U baseball team finished second in the Five Tool Texas DFW Kickoff Tournament over Memorial Day Weekend. The All-Star Junior team swept their opponents in pool play with a clean 4-0 record, advancing to the semi-final game Monday. In the semi-final, Rangers RBI posted 17 runs on offense alongside a dominant performance from Kaleb Thompkins on the bump, who allowed two earned runs in a complete-game outing.

After outscoring opponents in their first five outings, Rangers RBI was two runs shy of claiming the championship trophy, falling 3-2 against the North Texas Tribe. The Tribe jumped out to an early one-run lead in the second inning, but a double from Saul Vela tied the game in the fourth. After a scoreless fifth inning, the North Texas Tribe posted two runs in the top of the sixth. Rangers RBI answered with one run in the bottom of the sixth but was unable to take the lead through nine innings.

Though the Rangers fell short of the championship title, the team had several bright spots throughout the weekend. Pitchers Caleb Tompkins and Jacob Ramirez threw a combined no-hitter in five innings with 10 strikeouts between the pair. The team also showcased their offense, outscoring their opponents 60-7 across the six games played in the Five Tool Tournament.

Standout performances:

Kaleb Thompkins (Pool Play Game 1): 3 IP, 0 ER, 6 K

Santos Salinas (Pool Play Game 4): 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5K

Trace Spann (Weekend): .389 AVG, 8 H, 1 HR, 1 2B, 11 R

Saul Vela (Weekend): .524 AVG, 11 H, 6 2B, 11 R

Senior Softball Memorial Day Weekend Tournament recap

The Texas Rangers Youth Academy’s 18U softball team rounded out the line-up for Rangers RBI last weekend, playing in the two-day Texas Glory Memorial Day Showdown on Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29.

The team faced tough competition from some of North Texas’ top travel teams and finished the weekend with a losing 1-5 record. Despite falling short of the championship game for the first time in their last three tournament appearances, Rangers RBI softball had several stand-out performances.

In the team’s only win for the weekend, the Rangers topped Glory Adkins Crelia with a final score of 3-0. Pitchers Isabella Garza and Kaila Torres combined to throw a two-hit shutout and Erin Lopez was 2-2 at the plate.

Ariana Ortiz and Hannah Pacheco played vital roles in the team's 6-3 loss to the Texas Fusion. Ortiz finished the day 1-2 with a double, and Pacheco swung for the fences, hitting the Rangers' first home run of the tournament. Ariana Ortiz hit the Rangers' second and final home run of the weekend with a solo shot against Illusion Gold.

In the team’s 9-6 loss to Pure Mission Oaks, Adrianna Gauna and Erin Lopez were both perfect at the plate and finished the day 3-3 with two RBI and 2-2, respectively.

Rangers RBI Baseball & Softball schedule