At age 11, Triston Read already plays baseball at a pretty high level.
The soon-to-be Decatur sixth grader has been busy proving his talents on the baseball diamond by playing with kids two years older than him on a 12-and-under select major team. It’s the highest level of little league baseball.
Read, along with his teammates on the Texas Stix Black Team, recently got to compete at the home of baseball the week of June 8 in Cooperstown, New York. Cooperstown Dreams Park hosts the event, which features 104 12-U teams from around the nation.
The Stix compiled a 7-1 record as they advanced all the way to the final eight.
“Our goal going in was to let the kids have fun and try to advance to the sweet 16,” Read’s coach and uncle Trent Jennings said. “We got behind almost every game but the kids just kept crawling back.”
In the elite eight round, the Stix got no-hit while only giving up three hits themselves enroute to a loss. The weather didn’t cooperate much either, as rain pelted the area throughout most of the tournament.
“It was fun,” Read said. “There were a lot of teams there. It was tough playing through the rain, but our team played with a lot of intensity.
“It was cool because we reached our goal. If we could have got past the Florida team (the elite eight round) we figured we could have made the championship.”
The week also included a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for all the teams that qualified for the tournament. Each player got a ring for their team qualifying.
It was a special trip for a kid who has shown talent since he was old enough to pick up a baseball.
Read was playing in Boyd when his uncle saw something special and suggested to his dad, Jason, that they get him to the metroplex.
At the age of 8 he tried out for a 9-U double A team. Read was immediately one of the top five players on the squad, and within three weeks vaulted to the top.
The next year, Jennings and Jason started the Texas Stix. The now 12-U team plays nearly 100 games per season at the major level, pitting them against the best little league talent.
Read’s current league has him playing against the kids of former Texas Rangers Rusty Greer and Bobby Witt and former Dallas Cowboy Darren Woodson.
Despite playing most of the season as a 10-year-old, Read is second on the team with a .475 batting average, first in runs scored, and leads the team in doubles and stolen bases.
Defensively he has only committed four errors in 55 games playing the majority of the time at second base.
“When I’m not playing baseball, I’m on my X-box playing baseball,” Read said. “Whenever we have a break we’ll play wiffle ball. I have 50 home runs in wiffle ball.”
An injury suffered in second grade while playing football nearly halted Read’s success on the baseball diamond. He was hit on the elbow while making a throw, and it sidelined him for eight months.
Doctor after doctor wouldn’t allow Read to return to sports, until he finally caught a break.
“When he couldn’t play sports for eight months he changed as a kid,” his father said. “When we left a doctors office he would be in tears. Finally Scottish Rite said they would treat it asymptomatically, and that was the happiest day of his life.”
Since he was cleared Read has excelled at baseball and basketball. He’s hoping clearance for football is right around the corner.
“The sky’s the limit for him,” Jennings said. “He’s not only a great baseball player – he’s a great athlete.”