Playing in the second annual Southeastern Underclassman Shootout at Troy last week, Trevor Houston was a very popular man. His Team Alabama defeated Team Tennessee 8-5 in the semifinal round of the baseball showcase on June 28 with a big boost from Houston, who will be a senior at Cleburne County High School when school resumes in August. He pitched his team out of serious trouble in the middle innings and his teammates rallied to win.     

When Houston entered the game with one away in the fourth inning, Team Tennessee had already scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead and had the bases loaded. Houston got the second out on a sacrifice fly then ended the inning with a strikeout.

“All my teammates told me, ‘I’m glad you got us out of a jam. We really needed that,’ a bunch of stuff like that,” Houston said later.

In the fifth, the first batter Houston faced singled but was erased when he was caught attempting to steal second base. Two more outs followed on a ground ball to second base and a pop up to shortstop. Overall, in an inning and two-thirds he threw 15 pitches to the five batters he faced, gave up one hit, had one strikeout and did not issue a walk.

In the top of the fifth inning, Team Alabama scored four runs to tie the game at 5-5. The Alabamians added three runs in the top of the seven to complete the scoring. The following day, the Louisiana representative downed Alabama in the championship game. Houston did not pitch in the loss.

Earning a spot on Team Alabama in the Shootout was a lengthy process for Houston. First, there was a tryout that included approximately 100 other players at Albertville High School. Next up was a trip to Troy for a couple of days of all-star games where he pitched and played in the outfield. Finally, Houston received a phone call telling him he had been chosen for Team Alabama as a pitcher.

Houston said he liked both the competition of trying for a place on Team Alabama and the competition that the Shootout provided against all-star teams from Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi as well as Tennessee.

“Any high school kid that’s wanting to go play college baseball should definitely try out for it. It was fun. I liked it a lot,” Houston said of the experience.

Houston and Cleburne County teammate Nick Dunston have been playing travel ball this summer for a team based in Auburn. There will be one more travel ball tournament next week then it will be strictly football for Houston for the next few months.

 “I love football games. I love playing football but I love baseball just as much,” he said. “I’d rather go play college baseball than I would college football.”