BASEBALL: AfterMath Baseball excited for World Series opportunity

Winning tournaments has been nothing new for this youth baseball team throughout the spring.

Now, these players will get a chance to play at the DFW World Series later this month.

The AfterMath, which plays in the 8-and-Under-AAA class, will be one of 25 teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico that will be competing in the DFW World Series.

The tournament will run from June 21-26.

The team (which sits at a 40-10 record) is coached by Francisco Jaquez who has been coaching baseball for eight years now.

“This isn’t my first rodeo but this is my first World Series with these guys,” Jaquez said. “This team generated out of Floyd Gwin. We started off as a t-ball team a few years ago. We’ve been going on for four years now. We started off in t-ball and then we took the next step where we had a select team and now we’re going to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the World Series for the first time.”

The competition is put on by the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA).

AfterMath Baseball punched its ticket for the World Series after winning a Mother’s Day Tournament in Lubbock last month when the team went 4-0 and defeated the Lubbock Dirtbags 11-10 in the championship.

“We actually beat the best team in Lubbock by one run,” Jaquez said.

The AfterMath also finished third in the gold bracket at the King of the Mountain Tournament in Ruidoso, N.M. on May 27.

The team went 6-1 in that tournament, losing to El Paso by a single run.

“But my boys, they’ve grown tremendously as this year has progressed,” Jaquez said. “They’re hungry. They enjoy it and love it. We’re not raising ball players, we’re trying to raise better men for the future.”

A few days later, the team competed in its first Premier Prospect tournament in Hobbs, N.M., going 5-1 and scoring 55 runs and only allowing 12 runs all weekend.

“Throughout the year, we’ve played in about 15 tournaments,” Jaquez said. “We’ve finished anywhere from first, second and third place.”

Right now, Jaquez said the team is focusing on getting ready for the World Series in a few weeks.

“We’re just getting ready for the World Series,” Jaquez said. “It’s a whole week-long tournament. We don’t want to wear the players out, especially in this heat. The USSSA state tournament coming up next weekend but we opted out of it since we had already qualified. We don’t want to do three or four weekends in a row. We want them to enjoy their summer a little bit.”

The upcoming tournament will be the team’s last at playing in the Coach Pitch level.

“We have our World Series coming up and then we have our End of the Season Tournament at the end of the July in Hobbs, N.M.” Jaquez said. “But in that one, we’re going to move up to Kid Pitch so my boys can get ready for the next step which is pitching to each other instead of coach pitching. It’ll be actual baseball.”

The players have enjoyed this season and are excited to make the trip to the Metroplex for the World Series.

“I’m really excited that we’ve done our best work to go and make it there,” Bryson Jaquez said, who plays second baseman. “I like that I get to play with the team and we get to be with each other.”

Shortstop Cannon Salgado echoed those thoughts.

“I get to be here with my friends and we get to play,” he said. “I’m glad that we made it and we’re very excited.”

Francisco said what stands out the most from this team has been how much his players have improved since they first started in t-ball.

”When I got them in t-ball, half of them didn’t know how to throw the ball,” he said. “They were babies. We’ve grown together so much that they’ve become my kids on the diamond. It’s been a joy because some of these kids I coached their older brothers as well so I’ve known them for a long time and they’ve grown into the game.”