Hillsboro High School graduate Austin Cross was part of the 17U Wichita Sluggers baseball team that made history as the youngest team to qualify for the 82nd National Baseball Congress World Series.
Originally a member of the Sluggers Red team, Cross was added to the 17U team because of his senior leadership, according to Wichita Sluggers Director of Operations Tonto Baxley.
The Sluggers went 1-2 in the NBC World Series, becoming the youngest team in history to win a tournament game when they defeated the Salina Blue Jays, 11-10, July 29.
The Sluggers suffered a 12-1 loss to the Burger King (Mo.) Capahas July 31, then dropped an 11-3 game to the Colorado Cyclones Aug. 2 to conclude their outing.
The Sluggers’ team, coached by Tabor College’s Mark Standiford, is comprised of players 16-18 years old from the Wichita area. In the tournament, the team faced college-age athletes and older, Baxley said.
Typically a starter, Cross pitched an inning in relief in the Sluggers’ 12-1 loss to the Burger King (Mo.) Capahas July 31.
“He came in, like I said, a senior leader (and) did his job,” Baxley said. “He held them at bay and gave us an opportunity.”
Baxley spoke well of Cross’s contribution to the team.
“He is the greatest teammate you could have, good work ethic,” Baxley said. “He’s a good leader on and off the field. He’s just a great person to be around.”
Cross has signed to play baseball for Allen Community College this year.