JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
DRIPPING SPRINGS — The Marble Falls Mudcats 11-and-under baseball team won the South Texas World Series of Austin Select Baseball on Aug. 3.
Coach Mark Giesecke said he was not surprised by the success of the squad.
“This is a select group that plays baseball at a high level,” he said. “Our kids are from Marble Falls, Johnson City, Llano, Burnet and Blanco. It’s a Hill Country bunch. They’re highly dedicated and busted their tails.”
The Mudcats (33-10-2) defeated the San Antonio Broncos 4-3, eventually winning the championship by using the California tiebreaker. That means the Mudcats started their batting portion of the inning with two outs and a runner on second base. It took three California tiebreakers to decide the winner.
The Mudcats played the Broncos three times during the tournament, beating them in the semifinals 12-4 behind two grand slam home runs from Taevin Brown. He hit one in the first inning and the other in the second inning.
The Mudcats hit their stride in bracket play. They stayed in the winner’s bracket throughout the double-elimination format, defeating Austin’s Finest 5-3, Phantom’s Baseball 7-3 and the Broncos twice.
In pool play, the Mudcats beat ATX Monsters 12-2 and Helotes Hit and Run 3-2 but lost to the Broncos 6-3.
Other contributors to the Mudcats included Rhett Giesecke and Austin Hulon, who both found ways to get on base, and pitchers Matthew Tippie of Burnet and Gunnar Granberg of Blanco, who is already clocking a 76-mph fastball.
The coach said the team’s solid pitching also played a factor in the successful season. He noted the squad used seven pitchers during 10-game stretches.
In addition to winning the South Texas World Series of Austin Select Baseball, the Mudcats also captured three other tournament championships and finished second in many others, Giesecke said.
“We’re used to winning and have the expectation of winning,” he said. “We played the best in the state and are one of the premier teams.”