It was the second world series in consecutive weeks for the Mustangs, who finished as runners-up in the Blue Division of the USSSA Global World Series in Myrtle Beach, S.C. July 8-14.
“The team has played 15 games in two weeks and traveled almost a 1,000 miles,” said Coach Stump Martin. “My guys love to play baseball. We started on February 18 when it was in the 30s and ended in July in the upper 90s. I think we took three weekends off during that time frame.”
Martin said the Mustangs and his coaching staff are both blessings.
“I’m a granddaddy with one daughter and one grandson, I have a big family during baseball season,” Martin said. “I tell my kids I love them many times during the season and that’s because I do.”
Martin was delighted with the Mustangs performance in the BPA World Series.
“We have had too many injuries late in the season and the kids worked hard and overcame them,“ Martin said. “Our first baseman/pitcher Jordan Sims missed more than seven weeks with a stomach illness and just returned this week. Outfielder Daulton Cunningham almost cut a toe off in Knoxville last month and catcher/pitcher Austin Chastain broke his nose before the USSSA World Series and has played the past two weeks knowing he will likely have surgery.”
Mike Davis, Rob Payne and Chris Campbell are assistant coaches.
“These guys care and the players know they do,” Martin said. “The cool thing about this team is from the coaches to the players they all care about each other.”
Ron Bishop and SCORE International sponsor the Mustangs. Martin gives Sunday morning devotionals and the team often prays with its opponents at the pitchers’ mound following the games.
“This is more than baseball,” Martin said. “God has been good to us and we’re trying to teach life lessons that will help the kids succeed. Our coaches don't get thrown out of games.”
The veteran coach said that Gage Young was picked up for the USSSA World Series and Nolan Letzgus joined the team for the BPA World Series because of injuries and sickness.
“They both helped us out,” Martin said. “Nolan was especially a sparkplug in the last tournament when we had two players get sick and one was at a camp during the week.”
The Choo-Choo City Mustangs team members are J.C. Davis (2B), Mike Benning (1B/P), Tanner Shulman (3B/P), Riley Harrison (P/SS), Brody Campbell (OF/P), Scotty Payne (OF/C), Harley Walker (OF/P), Moose Vaughn (SS/P), Chastain (C/P), Cunningham (OF/C) and Sims ((1B/P).
The team also won the 13th Annual USSSA Early Bird tournament in Knoxville where the players were presented rings and the BPA No Play on Mothers Day tournament in Crossville, Tenn.
"We're already planning on going to Cooperstown, N.Y. next summer for the big 12-year-old tournament that's held there annually," Martin said.