Flash Staff Report
(July 2, 2017) — The Dublin Yankees are back in the Texas Teenage Baseball-Softball Association state tournament, having reached the event fourth straight year in a third age bracket.
The Dublin team has competed under two names – Yankees in 2014, 2016 and currently, and Astros in 2015. Five Yankee players – Blaize leatherwood, Isaiah Cisneroz, Angel Ramirez, Griffin Pickett and Tyler Morrow – have been together since their first run to the state tournament.
That experience could be an advantage as the Yankees look to improve on a third-place finish in the 14U division a year ago. They were also in 14U in 2015 and competed in 12U in 2014. Unless Dublin establishes a team for the high school eligible tournament, this is the final shot for the Yankees to bring to fruition an effort that began more than three years ago.
Here’s another advantage for the Yankees of Dublin and the teams representing Stephenville in the event – the chance to return home and sleep in their own beds after long days at the yard, as the tournament joins two other TTBSA state championship events coming to Stephenville City Park this month. The double-elimination 15U baseball event starts Monday, July 24 and continues through much of the week.
It’s not just the continuity of half its roster but also that of its coaching staff that has aided the Yankees. Gordie Saldivar is the “skipper,” serving as head coach after being an assistant coach the prior three summers. He is helped by Tommy Cisneroz, who was head coach lat year after they worked together under head coach CoJack Martinez in 2014 and 2015. Saldivar and Cisneroz are still together in their efforts to win a sate title alongside Tommy’s son, Isaiah Cisneroz. Tommy was among the first all-district baseball players at Dublin High school in 1997 and 1998.
The Yankee roster includes (photo at top of story: back, left to right) Ramirez, Pickett, Morrow, Isaiah Cisneroz, Christian Ramirez, (front) Jadon Johnson, Blaize Leatherwood, coach Gordie Saldivar, Mateo Marquez and Bryce Leatherwood.
The success of the 15U Yankees is a good sign of continued improvements in the high school baseball program. In May, the Lions reached the playoffs for the second time in as many years under head coach Kellen Cervetto. They won a bi-strict series for the first time in program history last year and competed in three post season series in 2016 and 2017 after reaching just one such series in the previous 19 years.
But high school varsity competition will have to wait, as there is business to be taken care of currently.
And for a team with an abundance of state tournament experience and last year’s third-place finish already on the resume, the business plan pertains is all about one acceptable outcome – a state championship.