KATY (Covering Katy News) – It was a hard-fought battle for the players on the Katy 12 9U select baseball team. Fighting through the sweltering Texas heat to play five games in one day, back-to-back, the team beat an undefeated rival to claim the USSSA World Series Championship. Following the win, the team is now ranked number one in Texas by the USSSA.
“It was well over 100 degrees on the AstroTurf,” said James Powell, father of player Noah Powell. “The victory was fun but what meant more to us was the effort and endurance that these kids had.”
The team is managed by Chad Watassek and coached by Steven Betancourt. The roster includes Brody Washbrook, Cooper Cummings, David Harris, Ethan Horton, Jacob Owen, Luke Betancourt, Luke Simon, Luke Watassek, Mason Coursey and Noah Powell.
The double-elimination tournament, which was played in Frisco, lasted five days. On the fourth day, the Katy 12 lost a 6 p.m. game, throwing them in the loser’s bracket and causing them to show up at 8 a.m. the next day for the first of five games. They showed up at the fields at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t leave until after 5 p.m. The last two games were played against the team that beat them the night before.
“They came back on Sunday and just played exceptional baseball,” said Watassek. “We played nine hours straight and these kids could have kept going.”
“We understood that if we lose one game we are out; it is what it is,” said Powell. “We fought, and we gave everything we could in this heat. They did it. They did it all the way. They had no fear, they had no signs that they were terribly exhausted.”
The Katy 12 is a select baseball organization that originated out of College Station. The 9U team is the youngest in the organization, so this was the first year for these players to be on the field together.
“We are all family,” said Powell. “Because in two years, three years, this is who you are going to be playing with. It’s good because at that age it’s hard to understand that talent is not what keeps you on the field; it’s effort. It’s not that we were a better team – it’s that we never gave up.”
“They were resilient, never gave up,” said Watassek. “I don’t even know how to explain it; it was so surreal as a father and coach.”
See photos and video below.
Video of the winning run in the Championship game. Courtesy James Powell