For the Second Year in a Row, RBI Austin’s 18U Baseball Team Wins Bid to MLB RBI World Series in Vero Beach
This past weekend, Austin’s MLB Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities affiliate — RBI Austin — hosted the MLB RBI Southwest Regional for the second year in a row. Teams from five organizations across the Southwest Region — El Paso RBI, Houston Astros RBI, New Orleans RBI, Texas Rangers RBI, and RBI Austin — competed for the opportunity to advance to the 2019 MLB RBI World Series in Vero Beach, Florida. The Regional included three divisions: 15U Baseball, 18U Baseball, and 18U Softball, and this was RBI Austin’s first year to have an 18U Softball team participate.
The tournament took place around the city of Austin at Concordia University, St. Edward’s University, and the Round Rock Express’ Dell Diamond. This year’s RBI Southwest Regional champions are New Orleans RBI (15U Baseball), RBI Austin (18U Baseball), and Houston Astros RBI (18U Softball).
RBI Southwest Regional Champions
RBI Austin’s 18U Regional Baseball team defeated Houston Astros RBI 8-0 on Sunday, July 21st at Dell Diamond to win the tournament.
After earning a spot in the championship game with a 3-1 record in pool play, the Austin boys pulled off a dominant 8-0 victory over Houston to punch their all-expenses paid ticket to Vero Beach in August. At the RBI World Series on August 4th-9th, RBI Austin will compete against six other U.S. regional champions and one World regional champion for a chance to earn the program’s first RBI World Series title.
In Sunday’s championship game, RBI Austin faced University of Oklahoma commit Aaron Calhoun starting on the mound for Houston. RBI Austin hitters methodically worked Calhoun into deep counts, executed small ball to near perfection, and had timely hits to eventually knock Calhoun out of the game in the 4th inning.
At the plate for RBI Austin, catcher Walker Kohler (LBJ/LASA H.S. Class of 2020) went 3 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and a walk, and second baseman Marc Juarez (McCallum H.S. Class of 2020) went 1 for 2 with a bases loaded RBI single and a walk.
Meanwhile, RBI Austin pitcher Nico Romero (Akins H.S. Class of 2020) used just 85 pitches to throw a complete game gem with 5 strikeouts, scattering 4 hits and 1 walk over 7 shutout innings. In its fifth game of the weekend, RBI Austin’s bullpen was thin by Sunday, making Romero’s complete game shutout a key ingredient to securing the Regional championship.
RBI Austin Softball Regional Team Makes Debut
In addition to securing an 18U Baseball Regional championship, this was a significant year for RBI Austin as it was the first time that Austin has had a softball team compete in the Regional.
RBI Austin’s 18U Softball Regional team competed against solid competition from New Orleans RBI, Texas Rangers RBI, and 2018 MLB RBI World Series Softball Champions Houston Astros RBI.
MLB RBI World Series
The 27th annual MLB RBI World Series will be hosted by Major League Baseball in Vero Beach, Florida on August 4th-9th and includes tournament games, scout workout days, banquets, community service events and more.
MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants throughout the program’s 30-year history, and many others have been given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. RBI currently serves young men and women in over 300 programs in approximately 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $40 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues (https://www.mlb.com/news/more-than-110-baseball-softball-teams-in-to-compete-in-rbi-regional-tournaments/c-286514254).
This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for participants as they are exposed to such a high, professional level of the game that only Major League Baseball could provide. Blessings to RBI Austin’s 18U Regional Baseball team as they prepare for Vero Beach!