“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1
Head Commissioner: Richard Batey – email@example.com
FEAST baseball experienced a tournament win in the Blanco county tournament. FEAST Varsity won games with Marble Falls (8-5), Schulenburg (11-1), and D’Hanis (5-4); while dropping one game to Comfort (4-5). Our last game with D’Hanis was for the division title, both finishing the tournament with 3-1 records. FEAST won the tournament based on the head-to-head victory with D’Hanis. The title game was exciting with great pitching from Aidan Meeks, who went 5 and 1/3 innings giving up one earned run. Angle Espinoza recorded the final two outs in relief. But the Patriot’s work was not done. We entered the bottom of the last inning, trailing 4-2. Paul Shane got the Patriots going with a single. Then Aidan Meeks took advantage of an errant throw from the third baseman to move Paul to third and Meeks in scoring position at second. Cruz Garcia drove in Shane and moved Meeks to
third with an in-field hit. Garcia immediately took second on the first pitch of the next at bat with a stolen base. Still trailing 4-3, Luke Batey drove in Meeks and Garcia with a single through the right side. The walk-off victory was truly a team effort and a great ending to a weekend of baseball.
Prior to the tournament, the Patriots had lost consecutive Tuesday evening games to Blanco High School. Both were hard-fought matches ending in one-run differences. The first game ended 4-5 in the bottom of the 7th with a walk-off hit by the Panthers. The second ended in extra innings 10-9, a nine-inning marathon. The significance of the two losses to FEAST is that Blanco annually represents their district in the UIL playoffs. The competitive performance of the Patriots against a quality opponent is as much a victory for our program as winning the tournament in the following week. We are proud of our team.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BASEBALL CONTACT: Commissioner Richard Batey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Patriots had a rough start to their season with a 1-3 record. Still, they have some bright spots. The Patriots scored 16 runs in the first four games. Andrew Meeks (Fr.) leads the team in batting with a .400 avg., followed by Cruz Garcia (So., .354 avg) and Will Muckleroy (Jr., .250). Liam Zapata (Jr.) and Reese Duer (So.) lead the team in runs scored with three each. RBI leaders include Luke Batey (Sr.) and Cruz Garcia at three each. Aidan Meeks (Sr.) became the player of the game in our first victory driving in a walk-off run to end the game 8-7 against the HCYA Eagles of Houston.
Defensively, Aiden Mika (Sr., 1st base) leads the team with 15 putouts on 15 chances, followed by out-fielders Will Muckleroy (6, Left Field) and Holden Kennemer (Jr., 5, Center Field). Aidan Meeks (SS) leads the team in assists with 6. The Senior – Freshman combination of Aidan & Andrew Meeks turned the Patriots’ first double play 6-4-3. Their mom, Julie, was heard to say, “All that time practicing in the yard paid off.”
Pitching, Tanner Gernenz (Fr.) leads the team in ERA (.323) with four 1/3rd innings pitched giving up two earned runs, facing 24 batters, striking out 5. Angel Espinoza (Jr.) recorded the team’s first victory, coming into the game late and holding the Eagles to a tie, while receiving the benefit of Meeks’ walk-off RBI. Luke Batey leads the team in innings pitched (7) and strikeouts (12).
I’d like to give a shout-out to our volunteer coaches, without whom our season would not be possible. Coach Mark Juarez (High School) and Coach Ezequiel Salas (Middle School) spend countless hours working with our kids. Mark is responsible for setting up most of our HS schedule which currently includes 20 games and three tournaments. Mark travels three times a week from San Marcos to spend two hours on the field with our team. Our next game is March 2nd in Blanco (V/JV) JV at 5:30pm.
Coach Salas takes off work early twice a week and provides great instruction and drills for a MS team that I expect will make some noise this year in the Independent School Athletic League (ISAL). The middle school’s first game is set for March 2nd at Concordia Lutheran (4:30 pm). We all are very grateful for the time and effort these gentlemen provide and the example they set for our sons.
As we begin another season, I want to acknowledge our seniors Dyeland Mangelson, Aiden Meeks, Aiden Mika, and Luke Batey. They lost half of their junior season to COVID and we’re hoping for a better outcome this year.
Last year was Dyeland’s first year with FEAST. He played for our coach Mark Juarez’s MISL team during the summer. Dyeland is an outfielder and was used as a designated hitter for the Patriots.
Aiden Meeks is a long-time starting middle infielder for the Patriots. He plays for the SA Prospects/Texas Pro United during the summer and provides pitching relief as called on for our team. He is always very quick of hand and foot at short-stop.
Aiden Mika came to FEAST last year, transferring in from Luling ISD. Aiden plays for the Hooks Baseball during the summer and is an outfielder and pitcher for the Patriots. He broke into the line-up immediately on arrival and may be expected to take up some first-base duties this year.
Luke Batey, like Aiden Meeks is a long-time starter for the Patriots. He plays for the Bowie Bulls during the summer and has played every position for FEAST except center field. His primary duties over the last 2 seasons have been on the mound and behind the plate (pitching and catching).
As you can tell, these young men are devoted to developing their skills playing spring, summer, and fall. Their commitment and leadership helped to change our season last year and bodes well for the development of our team this season.
I would also like to thank those whose commitment in the past has provided baseball for our kids. There is always stress related to issues where money is involved. Things that most parents never have to think about; renting fields, buying baseballs and equipment, ordering and purchasing uniforms, hiring umpires, and finding coaches while keeping an eye on the bottom line. Specifically, I am thinking of Hunter and Kathleen Kennemer, who assumed the duties of commissioner and assistant last year. A year in which, I felt, was one of our most successful while at FEAST. We played higher quality teams, won a tournament, and had to deal with the unfortunate season-ending pandemic. I admire and appreciate people that step up to the plate in a time of need. Which is, by the way, one reason we choose baseball for our kids. Stepping up to the plate-a phrase used by everyone when they admire someone’s courage and efforts in the face of uncertain and difficult tasks. Having tasks carrying with them possible pain, failure, and humiliation is part of the way that baseball turns boys into men. We thank those who have helped to make this available to our young men.
FEAST Baseball hopes everyone had a Merry Christmas and that your New Year’s has started off great!
Baseball kicked off their season with an Informational Meeting last month. There were a lot of familiar faces as well as some new ones!
Practices will be held at McAllister Park Fields on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30-5:30pm. The cost will be $625 for High School (includes tournaments plus the Border Olympics) and $400 for Middle School.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FEAST BASEBALL: Contact Richard Batey at email@example.com
Let me introduce myself! My name is Richard Batey, and I am a homeschooling father of four (k-12). My 2 oldest have now completed degrees in Economics and Business Administration from Texas State University. My third is currently a sophomore at Texas State. My youngest is a senior in high school and competes on the FEAST Patriots baseball team. I am a Research Analyst at Texas State University, and I submitted my life to Christ Jesus at age 12.
As a homeschooling dad, I appreciate the life lessons athletics provides for our kids. They are introduced to an authority outside of the home. They learn to work within a group. Hopefully, they learn of how hard work, training, teamwork, and leadership bring improvement of skills and accomplishment of goals. I especially appreciate lessons of humility in baseball. We all strikeout, we all make errors, and we all need forgiveness.
For the team to succeed, players must learn performance improves when mistakes are greeted with forgiveness and encouragement.
As commissioner, I hope to field two high school teams, a Varsity and a JV. If numbers permit, we may do the same in middle school. We are currently scheduling games and hope to secure at least 30 for the Varsity. At present, we have entered 3 tournaments and may add a fourth. Middle school will continue to participate in the ISAL league, which will end with a championship tournament.
My overall vision for FEAST baseball is to be competitive with higher levels of opponents. Last year’s leadership acquired us entrance into the prestigious Border Olympics Tournament in Laredo. In doing so, we were able to compete against 5 and 6A schools like Veterans Memorial in Corpus (5A top ten, L 9-3) and Austin High (6A top 15, L 4-0). These may have been losses on our schedule, but they were victories for our program.
We went on to win our next tournament and 7 games in a row. We have been invited back and hope to attend again this year.
I look forward to hearing from all interested in promoting FEAST baseball.