Now that the 18U and 15U baseball and 18U softball teams have returned from representing the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, presented by Toyota, at the Jennie Finch Classic and Commissioner’s Cup in Cleveland during All-Star Break and the RBI Southwest Regionals in Austin, some younger athletes are stepping up to the plate.
For the first time, an 11U baseball team from the Academy competed in tournament play on Saturday, July 27.
After going 0-2 in pool play, the team battled back to make it to the Championship Contest, where they suffered a 16-15 loss in extra innings.
“It was an absolute honor to be given the opportunity to coach our first ever 11U team,” their coach, Daschal Johnson, said.
“The kids played until the last out, and they left everything they had on the field despite the extra inning loss in the championship game,” Johnson added. “I couldn’t be more proud of the boys and the effort they gave. That game kept you on the edge of your seat.”
Johnson is set to return to Northwestern Oklahoma State University to play his redshirt season on the baseball team while beginning to work on his Master’s in Adult Education. A 5-year participant in Houston’s RBI program and recipient of an RBI scholarship, Johnson is now giving back to athletes at the Rangers Youth Academy, including helping coach the Rangers Academy 15U RBI All-Star squad in the RBI Southwest Regionals.
Whataburger Rising Stars
This summer’s Whataburger Rising Stars award winners from Academy Programming will be honored on the field at Globe Life Park on Saturday, August 3, prior to the 7:05 p.m. game against the Detroit Tigers.
Each of the Whataburger Rising Stars were nominated by Academy and RBI coaches to receive the monthly award based on their stellar achievement and outstanding sportsmanship during summer programming.
Below are the summer’s Whataburger Rising Stars for this summer:
- Joanlly Rodriguez Garcia (Softball), Jefferson High School, 2019
- Dodge Suprun (15U Baseball), Kimball High School, 2021
- Keith King (18U Baseball), Irving High School, 2020
- Abigail Cardenas (Softball), Hillcrest High School, 2020
- Jose Veiza (15U Baseball), Brown Middle School, 2023
- Travis Donnell (18U Baseball), Mabank High School, 2020
- Amanda Lynn Peterson (Softball), McArthur High School, 2020
- Ian Williams (15U Baseball), DeSoto High School, 2022
- Marco Garcia-Wong (18U Baseball), North Dallas High School, 2020
The Texas Rangers and Baseball Tomorrow Fund have once again teamed up for an equipment drive, with gear received being donated to the Academy.
Fans may drop off new and gently used baseball and softball equipment at any entrance of Globe Life Park in Arlington from 4:30- 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 3.
Athletes from the Rangers Academy will be on hand to participate in a pre-game ceremony that night. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund will donate a $5,000.00 grant to Mercy Street for the purchase of youth baseball and softball equipment. In addition, Academy Sports + Outdoors will be giving a $2,500.00 gift card to the Rangers Baseball Foundation to use for the purchase of equipment at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy.
Representatives from the Rangers Academy RBI All-Star teams that traveled to Austin for the RBI Southwest Regionals expected to participate include:
- Ian Williams, Palmer, 2022
- Kiley Sharpe, Fort Worth, 2024
- Abigail Ortiz, Dallas, 2020
- Mackenzie Amaya, Dallas, 2021
- Miranda Lopez, Dallas, 2021
Session B of the Academy’s Summer Training Program is now in its second week and will run through August 16.
Programming is Tuesday through Friday mornings from 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Registration is available at https://texasrangersya.leagueapps.com/camps.