GULF SHORES, Alabama — A boys’ coach-pitch baseball team based in Rockwall has won the World Series for its age division.
The NTX Generals of the Eight and Under Coach Pitch AAA Baseball League won the World Series 11-3 over Force Baseball Academy team of Davidson, Georgia, on June 21 in Gulf Shores — despite a big, early push by the Georgia team.
Generals Cailan Zollicoffer of Desoto and Jackson Cook of Rockwall each moved runners across the plate in the second inning with RBIs (runs batted in.) The Generals scored six runs in the second inning to put the game away when Zollicoffer singled, driving in two runs, and Cook singled, scoring a run.
The NTX Generals racked up 12 total hits in the game. Cook and Landen Longeway of Rockwall each collected multiple hits for the Generals, with Cook going 3-for-3 with an RBI and Longeway going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Logan Shouse of Rockwall and Zollicoffer each scored a run and had two RBIs for the Generals. Longeway and Shouse recorded doubles for the Generals in the game, and Longeway also nailed a triple.
The win made the Generals the official champions of the USSSA Global World Series, held at Gulf Shores.
The Generals, led by head coach Dustin Longeway of Rockwall and assistant coaches Justin Cook, Mike Lewis and Johnny Moss of Rockwall, put up some petty impressive numbers for the season. The squad was 21-1 against 8AAAC opponents, scoring an average of 11.45 runs per game while giving up an average of just 5.55 runs per game.
The team consists of players from Rockwall and the surrounding region. From Rockwall are team members Cook, Shouse, Landen Longeway, Cooper Crawford, Parker Lewis, and Diego Ramos. Mason Moss and Brooks Mouse are from Heath, and teammate Mossy Palmer is from Rowlett. Rounding out the team are Luke Guardiola of Grand Prairie, Anthony Hernandez of Mesquite and Zollicoffer of Desoto.
A majority of the boys started playing baseball in Rockwall’s city league, and about three years ago, the NTX Generals team formed and went on to earn the No. 3 spot in the country as a 6 and Under team.
“The Fall when they were 6 – the first tournament I coached them in – I could see there was something special and different about this group,” coach Longeway told the Herald-Banner this week.
Last year, at the 7U level, the Generals finished the season second in the nation and in the World Series, said coach Longeway, who works in the aviation industry and operates a youth strength and training facility in Rockwall called FYT Development.
“I have the boys set personal and team goals at the beginning of each season, and try to teach them the best way to achieve those goals is through hard work,” Longeway told the Herald-Banner. “I think the biggest difference between this group and others is they are all naturally highly competitive, and they also understand anything they want in life or on the field is earned, and can be achieved with hard work.”
The Generals are a group that exemplifies the meaning of teamwork, the coach said. He should know; his experiences as team captain on successful varsity football and baseball teams in high school in Michigan earned him a spot on top Division 1 recruiters’ lists for football and on Division 2 and 3 recruiters’ lists for baseball. He also coached junior varsity football in Michigan a decade ago.
“A defining moment was our first tournament of the season many of the boys came right from playing two basketball games that morning to rush over to play in the cold and rainy weather against the top-ranked team from Louisiana,” Longeway explained. “We were down 16-3 at one point; the boys could have easily quit and given up. They had every reason to do so, but instead they battled back and found a way win 17-16.”
Longeway said the team’s consistency and selflessness has long been inspiring but was especially so this season.
The biggest obstacle this team had to overcome to get to this point, was sacrificing each players own self-interests, and each player buying in to playing as a team,” he said. “They were a very consistent team this year, and when they experienced adversity they remained calm, stayed focused, and battled through each obstacle as a team.”
Eight and Under Coach Pitched AAA World Series
Gulf Shores, Alabama
NTX0 6 41 — 11 12 0
FBA2 1 00 — 3
NTX Generals Individual Stats
Jackson Cook, 3-3, 1 RBI, 1R
Anthony Hernandez, 1-3
Landen Longeway 2-3, 2B, 3B, 1R, 1 RBI
Mossy Palmer 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI
Cooper Crawford 1-3, 1 R
Parker Lewis 1 R
Luke Guardiola 1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI
Mason Moss 1-2, 1 R
Brooks Mason, 1 R
Logan Shouse, 1-1, 2B,1R, 2 RBIs
Cailan Zollicoffer 1-2, 1 R, 2 RBIs
Diego Ramos 1R