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London looks to defend 3A state title

London looks to defend 3A state title
Posted at 11:04 PM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-21 00:04:37-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Today marked the first day of high school baseball practice in Texas, and the class 3A state champion London Pirates are eager to make it to the state tournament for the third season in-a-row.

"Oh I'm so happy you know," Mason Arispe, London senior center fielder, said. "The way it ended last year it just made me more excited for this year."

Moments like this last a lifetime, and now the UIL 3A No. 1 London Pirates are looking to run it back.

"Getting a repeat for a state championship is hard, but we put in work and we're ready for everything," Arispe said.

Pirates' co-coaches Kevin Carr and Albert Amaya return eight starters from the state championship squad.

"We have some young players. I mean our team is junior heavy, so I think we have a bunch of leaders on the team this year," Blayne Lyne, London junior right-handed pitcher, said. "We have new catchers coming in that are very solid, fighting for positions. You know, it's just going to be a good team this year."

London's roster has a deep pitching staff, and they've got a competitive battle for the rotating starters.

"We lost two valuable players for us. Kade Budd and Jayden Martinez," Kevin Carr, London baseball co-head coach 11th season, said. "That was our starting battery for the past four years, so we definitely have to replace that. Now we have lots of options to go through, so there's a lot of competition."

This year's slogan is Champion Mentality, and the Pirates have prepared for day one ever since they won their title.

"This has been our best off-season by far. You know, our weight room numbers right now are off the charts," Carr said. "Like I said it's just a matter of filling in the roles that we need to with our leadership and our battery."

London starts their season with a road scrimmage against Kingsville on Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. The Pirates officially play their first game on Feb. 20 at Flour Bluff at 7 p.m.