ARP, Texas (KETK)- The ARP 13u baseball team is back in town after competing in the USSSA Firecracker Classic in Florida, where the Tigers took home second place, a memory they will cherish forever.


“I was really excited especially since Florida is far away and the teams were really good,” says Carlisle player Antonio Ibarra.

“I was really excited but we had a lot of competition going on between us,” adds Carlisle player Brandon Garza.

The Arp travel ball team is composed of players from cities like Carlisle, Arp, Kilgore, and Hallsville. They say it’s an honor to represent Beast Texas on the big stage.


“From a lot of small towns around here and going and competing at a high level with a bunch of kids that love the sport, and I’m glad that I have such a competitive team with a lot of competitive players that are ready to go out there and give it their all,” explains Head Coach Emmanuel Ponce.

“We’re like the first three people to go to the World Series in Carlisle and it’s very exciting because we finally made history in Carlisle,” smiles Garza.

The Tigers battled in the World Series dropping their first game before winning 5 straight games and making it to the championship.

“The bats got hot, right at the right moment and all it took was talking to them, getting them motivated again after that loss and after that, we were in a good streak after that,” tells Coach Ponce.

“The first game wasn’t us, I can say that and we just bounced back and we played like we usually do and everything went from there,” adds Ibarra.

The Tigers may not have won the World Series but did finish as runners-up, and brought home memories and lessons they will cherish forever.


“I learned a lot especially from these other teams, they didn’t quit or get down. They didn’t do anything and they were just playing,” exclaims Ibarra.

“It’s kind of sad that we lost but it’s kind of exciting we went all the way up there and finished out strong,” adds Garza.

“We played hard and it was a really good experience for all of these kids to go out there and see nice fields and stadiums and stuff like that. They had a really good time out there,” declares Ponce.

The future of baseball is bright in East Texas, and the Tigers hope to head back to the sunshine state to win it all next year.