Huntsville all-star teams advance to Region Tournament

SubmittedThe Huntsville Pinto All-Stars clinched a berth to this weekend’s regional tournament in Friendswood by claiming a section championship in Katy last Sunday. Pictured, from left, (top) head coach Tim Gray, assistant coach Cody McKinley, assistant coach Billy Driggers, assistant coach AJ Stoecklein, (middle) Caleb Humphrey, Kelby McKinley, Lukas Gibson, Waylon Cooper, Blaise Bell, Brady Gray, (bottom) Micah Gibson, Jaxson Stoecklein, Raylen Douglas, Jayden LaDay, Braylon Volker and Weston Driggers.

A pair of local youth baseball teams will look to keep their summer season going this weekend in Friendswood.

The Huntsville Pinto 8U and Mustang 10U All-Stars advanced to the Region Tournament, which begins Friday, after impressive performances at the Section Tournament in Katy over the weekend.

Huntsville’s Pinto 8U team won a section championship, overcoming Mother Nature on their way to a title. They beat teams from Meadows Place and Katy, and although they couldn’t play Sunday’s championship game due to inclement weather, they were awarded the title as a result of their undefeated record for the weekend.

With a top-two finish at the Regional Tournament, the team will secure a spot at the PONY Coach Pitch World Series in Youngsville, Louisiana.

“It's fun because we have kids all the way from six to eight years old, and they just get excited to play baseball,” said head coach Tim Gray, whose team has finished first or second in each of its tournaments this summer. “I don't know if they understand quite where they could be playing next weekend, but the kids are learning a lot, and we're having a lot of fun. We have a good group of parents, a good group of assistant coaches and the kids are just fun to be around.”

Meanwhile, the Mustang All-Stars have begun to show their growing chemistry after roughly a month playing together.

Huntsville all-star teams advance to Region Tournament

SubmittedThe Huntsville Pinto (top) and Mustang All-Stars (bottom) have qualified to compete in the Region Tournament this weekend in Friendswood. TOP: Pictured, from left, (top) head coach Tim Gray, assistant coach Cody McKinley, assistant coach Billy Driggers, assistant coach AJ Stoecklein, (middle) Caleb Humphrey, Kelby McKinley, Lukas Gibson, Waylon Cooper, Blaise Bell, Brady Gray, (bottom) Micah Gibson, Jaxson Stoecklein, Raylen Douglas, Jayden LaDay, Braylon Volker and Weston Driggers. BOTTOM: Pictured, from left, (top) Wilson Winn, JonJ Nuñez, Bryan Swearingen, Scooter Langley, (middle) Joakim Gray, ty Swearingen, Trevor Twardeski, Walton Bly, cody Cooper, Ryson Nuñez, Will Martin (bottom) Konnor Greer, Mason Douglas, Keaton Winn, Mason Langley, Daniel Nixon and Landon Fisher.

Following a second-place finish last weekend, during which they were in range of beating section champion Katy in the final innings, the team is feeling confident.

“They're just really starting to become a team,” said head coach JonJ Nuñez. “You can tell their confidence level has shot way up. The first time we played Katy was in the first tournament, and they 10-run-ruled us. In this last tournament, we hung with them until the end, so there's a confidence-booster in that.”