I’m sure if you live in this area, you are no stranger to how big men’s softball is. So it comes to no surprise that a couple of weeks ago, a hometown softball team became popular as they started their journey to USSSA World in Orlando. That’s right, I’m talking about The Oilers based out of Beaumont, Texas.
Spencer Sangster created the team in 2014 after deciding to leave the team he had been playing with for 6 years. Which he says is one of the toughest softball decisions he’s ever had to make. That next weekend he went with another team to play worlds in Vegas, being that 3 of his best friends were on the team. On the plane ride home from Vegas, Sangster had come to the decision to create his very own team, The Oilers.
With this being only season 2 for this new team, they sure left a lot on the field and the scoreboard. Sangster says it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the team this season. They hit a snag in the road when they had to maneuver around the roster several times when South Texas’ “retro rule” went into effect, leaving 4 players off the roster. They then hit another snag when they lost their 5th man to a broken foot, resulting in a 13 week miss. When he thought that was the end, right before leaving for the World tournament last week, 3 of their players weren’t able to make the trip last minute. That’s right, instead of hitting the road with their normal 17 man roster, they ended up with only 14 players, which he says is not what they are used to.
That didn’t seem to stop them during Worlds continuing to win each day; Sangster said “We knew we had a shot at winning it before we left, but our motto the entire time we were there was “one game at a time.” We never got ahead of ourselves and focused on each game as its own tournament.” Sadly, they lost the Championship game that he says left them all speechless. “Our team is a tight knit group and we’re all really good friends off the field too. On off weekends most of us are together doing other things. So we all knew what each other were thinking afterwards. Not finishing the job is going to hurt for a long while, but as a team we will be playing again this weekend in Beaumont, TX for the SBSA Open World championship so there’s really no time to be upset. We can’t let it effect us going into this weekends tournament.” Not everyone left Orlando empty handed however, they had 5 players named to the USSSA Men’s D All World Team, including offensive MVP of the tournament, Justin Harrison. (All pictured below, listed left to right) They took home second place, something to definitely be proud of!
While they didn’t win in Orlando, they have another game to focus on this weekend. “Going into this weekend we know as a group that we have one last task to complete before our year ends. We’ve talked amongst ourselves and everyone is ready to go.” Sangster says. And to address all the fans back home, he says “We really appreciate all the support we received from friends and family back home. We received dozens and dozens of calls, texts and messages throughout the week in Orlando. It was nice knowing there were so many people pulling for us.”
Top Row: Stephen McGrath #27, Jordan Harrison #12, Cody Hendrix #10, Justin Harrison #5, Daniel Homann #8, Darrell Abke #00, Matt Rooker #11, Spencer Sangster #4. Bottom Row: Matthew Ferguson #99, Aaron DeLuna #15, Casey Hendrix #3, Cody Emerson #9, Jon Jones #1, Cody Johnson #13. Not Pictured: Mario Garza #22, Michael Defee #7, Aaron McFarland #2, Cody Abke #21
So far this year they have won 11 tournaments, including 2016 Lonestar Battle for the Rings Championship, 2016 TVSA Rings Series Championship, 24/7 Softball Rings Series Championship, and they are looking to add the SBSA Open World Championship this weekend.
Good luck this weekend and we are all rooting for you guys! Regardless of the outcome, second in the world sure does seem like a huge accomplishment to me. Continue to watch their story as I’m sure in the upcoming seasons, they will leave us speechless!
On behalf of Spencer Sangster & the entire team, they would like to thank the following sponsers for making all of this possible:
Craig Rankin at Allstate: Nash-Rankin (Port Arthur, TX), Mark Witte at Mojo Sports Gear (Columbus, OH), Ricky Mullins at Mullins Tractor Service (Nederland, TX), Bob Martinez at Texan Dodge (Humble, TX), Debbie Douget/Laura Mullins at Dougets Rice (Beaumont, TX), Elver Uriostegui at the Fajita Factory (Bridge City, TX), Joshua Lege at Lege Consulting (La Porte, TX), and James Kaiser at Vogler Metals (Houston, TX).