By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (July 29, 2017) — The Texas Clutch played at home on Saturday, hosting Johnson County on the field many Clutch players call their home stadium in the spring UIL baseball season.
Most Stephenville baseball players are competing together on the Clutch as a way of not only playing, but building chemistry and symmetry with one another on the diamond and in the clubhouse.
“Any summer ball that puts some of your kids out there competing together is beneficial,” said Stephenville’s high school head coach, Justin Swenson. “We got eight or more guys on that team together, and that’s huge for us.”
There was one major setback with Easton Jones, quarterback of the Yellow Jacket football team and 8-4A district pitcher of the year in baseball tearing his ulna collateral ligament (UCL) while pitching for Texas Clutch, but if a team didn’t play because of injuries, there would eventually be no teams left, and the pros to summer ball, it is widely believed, outweigh the cons.
It’s not just Stephenville athletes on Texas Clutch. In fact, a Granbury player belted a solo home run in Saturday’s 6-2 loss t0 Johnson County at James. T. Young Baseball Field.
And it isn’t just the Clutch who are good for Stephenville baseball down the road. Swenson, of course, kept an eye on all stages of Stephenville summer results, including the Royals and Rangers, both Stephenville Parks and Recreation Department (SPARD) teams, take first and second in the Texas Teenage 15U tournament. The champion Royals won their final four games by a combined tally of 41-5 against three opponents who finished among the stop six teams in the state.
“Some of those boys have already finished their freshman year, so we knew what we had with some of them already, but those teams really showed that there is a great collection of talent between what will be the eighth grad and freshman classes this summer.”
Also not lost on Swenson was the value of having four 15U teams in the SPARD league.
“That’s outstanding, because it shows that the numbers are going to continue to be strong in our program, and you have to have that to build a successful, winning tradition,” he said.
The Flash Today photos of The Texas Clutch Saturday against Johnson County: