With the Kerrville Major League All Stars trailing by five runs entering the fourth, assistant coach David Benavides gathered his players outside the entrance to the visitors’ dugout. It was time for a quick pep talk.
“Come on guys,” he urged his players. “We have nine outs.”
For the first three innings, Kerrville’s All Stars were sloppy, committing uncharacteristic errors. Benavides simply reminded them that they didn’t start playing better, their season would be over.
His message was received, as Kerrville scored 13 runs in the final three frames to squash LakeHills, 14-7, on Monday during the Texas District 26 Little League Tournament at the Ingram Little League field.
“For some reason we were slouching early on,” head coach Eloy Vasquez said. “But they pulled together, overcame that deficit and ended up with a win. I am proud of the boys. … I’m really impressed with the mental toughness of these boys. As 10, 11 and 12-year old boys, most of them have the heart for the game. They love it and their mentality comes from their love for the game.”
That mentality was apparent in the fourth, as Kerrville relied on sound plate discipline — drawing six walks — and aggressive base running to plate four runs to melt the deficit to 6-5. In the fifth, Darren Dominguez triggered a two-out rally by smashing a triple to the left-field gap. He later scored on a passed ball to even the score.
Three batters later, Lakehills’ pitcher fed Domynik Vasquez an inside fastball. Vasquez promptly dispatched the offering over the centerfield wall for a three-run homer, giving the Kerrville’s All-Stars a lead that they never relinquished. They tacked on five more insurance runs in the sixth to seal the comeback.
“(Our comeback tonight) shows that we are willing to stay in the game for as long as it takes,” Domynik Vasquez said. “It
shows that we are always up for a fight.”
As a result, Kerrville will play Boerne in the tournament championship. Boerne defeated Kerrville, 5-4 in the first meeting, so Kerrville will have to win the games on Wednesday and Friday to win the tournament.