This year, the trophy isn't going very far.
The Houston Athletics defended their turf at the 2018 Program 15 New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series 2019 Grad Class Tournament, pulling off a dramatic comeback in a 4-3 win over a powerhouse US Elite team on Monday morning.
Trailing 2-0 heading into the seventh inning, Houston knocked starter Reece Early out of the game and got to US Elite's bullpen, striking for four runs to take a 4-2 lead. Josiah Castro pitched in and out of trouble in the seventh, and although he allowed a run, did enough to keep Elite off the board after that to secure the championship in the final Grad Class Tournament of the season.
“It was good,” Castro said. “We knew the competition was going to be here, but we're a good program and we don't go down without a fight. It was pretty good to be in the championship and take a lot of the harder teams out.”
Castro was on the bump for the entire game, and impressed the P15 scouting staff with his ability to locate, but especially with the use of his slider.
“The slider is my best pitch,” Castro said. “I have good command with it, so whenever I need to strike somebody out or get somebody chasing, I throw that slider.”