Baseball is very much alive in Austin, Texas.
This past weekend, Austin’s MLB Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities affiliate — RBI Austin — hosted the MLB RBI Southwest Regional where teams from four organizations — Houston Astros RBI, New Orleans RBI, Texas Rangers RBI, and RBI Austin — competed for the opportunity to advance to the 2018 RBI World Series in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Regional included three divisions: 15U Baseball, 18U Baseball, and 18U Softball.
RBI Southwest Regional Champions
RBI Austin’s 18U Regional team defeated Houston Astros RBI 4-0 on Sunday, July 29th at Dell Diamond to win the tournament. After securing three wins in the previous games over the weekend, the Austin boys pulled off this final victory to land them an all-expenses-paid trip to Minnesota to compete against other RBI teams from around the United States as well as Uganda, Curacao, and Puerto Rico.
Eric Worden (McCallum High School ‘18) pitched a complete game shutout on Sunday, leading RBI Austin to its 4-0 Regional championship game victory. Outfielder Harrison Lee (LBJ/LASA High School ‘18) competed at the plate throughout the weekend with three triples. First baseman Aidan Martinez (Hays High School ‘19) set the tone in the first game of the Regional with a walk-off single in extra innings over Houston.
Prior to RBI Austin defeating Houston on Sunday to earn its first 18U RBI Regional championship in program history, Houston had won the 18U RBI Southwest Regional championship in 10 of the past 11 years. Houston Astros RBI alumni include MLB players Anthony Rendon, Chris Young, Carl Crawford, and James Loney.
MLB RBI Regionals + World Series
Over the past several weeks, more than 110 RBI baseball and softball teams competed in Regional tournaments across seven U.S. regions and one World region.
The 26th annual RBI World Series will be hosted by the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 5-10 and includes tournament games, workout days, banquets, community service events and more. During this five day competition, the RBI Austin team will participate in a showcase where they can further demonstrate their skills.
The MLB RBI program is designed to promote the games of baseball and softball to young men and women in underserved and diverse communities where, often times, sports programs and initiatives are lacking or unobtainable.
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).