Little League fans show support (video)
IF YOU GO
• WHAT: Victoria Little League District 27 Area 1 Championship Final Game, Victoria Northwest versus Victoria Northeast
• WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday
• WHERE: Victoria Youth Sports Complex, 105 N. Ben Wilson Street
For Michael De La Garza Jr., being a little league fan is a game of self-control.
"You gotta be patient and control your emotions in the stand," said Michael, 16, who was at Monday night's little league game supporting his younger brother Matthew.
The stands were filled with parents and other family members practicing that same restraint as they watched their little ones bat against one another at the Victoria Little League District 27 Area 1 Championship.
Once, Michael said he remembers chewing his 12-year-old brother out after a bad play.
"I threw a major fit," Michael said. "He would have done the same for me."
Michael's mother, Cindy De La Garza, said she does her best to keep a positive tone.
"You gotta like baseball. That's for sure," said De La Garza, who said she's seen as many as two to three games in a single day. "Hot games, long games."
And while the De La Garzas cheered on Matthew and the Victoria Northwest team as they played against the Victoria Southwest team, Michael's grandparents were over at the Calhoun versus Victoria Northeast team rooting on their nephew, Andrew Ybarra.
Roy Balboa, 57, also used to play little league for the Port Lavaca team and was eager to root on another Sandcrab.
Andrew's mother, Sarah Ybarra, had a white baseball painted on her big toe, in support of her favorite baseball star.
"The boys have been practicing hard; they're determined to win," Ybarra said. "It's a big game for us."
Pitching against Matthew at the Victoria Northwest versus Victoria Southwest game was 12-year-old Jordan Fillmore.
Jordan and Matthew go to the same middle school, and their parents expect them to eventually compete with each other for a spot on the Victoria West High School baseball team.
His father, Jason Fillmore, watched on as his son threw a strike toward De La Garza.
"I'm enjoying myself watching him pitch and hit," Fillmore said. "He's been doing good, meeting all my expectations, passing some. ... If he keeps working at it, he'll be pretty good when he gets older."
The game ended with 5-3 victory for Victoria Northwest, and Matthew walked away from the dugout making his father, brother, mother and grandparents proud.
"The boys did awesome," said Matthew's dad and coach Michael De La Garza. "I tip my hat to the Southwest boys. They played and battled hard. We were just fortunate enough to come out on top."
Tuesday night, the Victoria Northwest team will go up against the Victoria Northeast team at the Victoria Youth Sports Complex.