The 13-member team is managed by Marvin “Stump”’ Martin with assistance from George Oleksik and Tim Burgess.
With a simple team philosophy of “God, family and team
combined with hard work and aggressive fair play,” the Mustangs, with players from the metropolitan Chattanooga area, qualified for the tournament by winning both the Choo-Choo City Challenge USSSA World Series Qualifier and the USSSA state tournament in Donelson, Tenn.
They also finished first in the Super Series Major Firecracker Classic in Pensacola, Fla., and were runners-up to the Alabama Slammers in the prestigious Chattanooga River City Classic.
Martin has coached girls’ softball teams in slowpitch and fastpitch, men’s slowpitch, men’s baseball and youth baseball that have played in national tournaments.
The first-year team ended the regular season 45-9 overall and 9-3 in the Sandlotter Super League, comprised of teams from Atlanta, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Birmingham, Huntsville and Knoxville.
The team also qualified for the Major Super Series Championship in Peoria, AZ. and the Sandlotter World Series at David Lipscomb University in Nashville.
“I’m proud of the tournament championships and the outstanding finish in the Super League,” Coach Martin said, “but I’m most proud that when we leave a tournament, the people come to us and talk of the class our team and followers have. That’s what we’re attempting to project.
“The young men have learned more than baseball this year. They have learned about life, teamwork, temptations, achieving goals, sacrifice and that as an athlete you are a role model whether you want to be or not.”
The mission taken on by Coach Martin and his coaches is to prepare these young men for life and provide them with a platform to showcase their talents.
Coach Martin believes dedication, desire and hard work will give his players the best chance to play baseball at the next level.
“This team is made up of some very nice young men who happen to be good, hardworking athletes. The team has outstanding pitching, good hitting, is one of the best defensive teams I have ever coached, and there’s speed up and down the lineup.
“We have lost nine games going into the World Series and each loss was another lesson that needed to be learned to get to the level these players and this team wants to reach.