HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The East Texas Baptist University baseball team is making history - and doing so with a lineup loaded with Houston-area products.
On Friday, ETBU advanced in the winner's bracket of the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament with a 7-3 victory vs. Salisbury, the 2022 NCAA Division II National Runner-Up and 2021 National Champion.
Five of the starting nine batters for ETBU in its first-ever NCAA Division III National Championship appearance are from right here in Space City.
"Houston baseball has always been pretty elite," ETBU third baseman Jacob Evangelista, a Klein Collins High School product, said. "It's set us up for college and gotten us ready for the next level. I think we've all come from good organizations and good coaches in our past, and Houston has always been a big part of that."
Joining Evangelista in ETBU's starting lineup are fellow Houston-area products Carson Wilson (Clements H.S.), Ben Lea (George Ranch H.S.), Brett Wagner (Brazoswood H.S.), and Nick Massarini (Travis H.S.).
"I think we're a fun team," Wilson noted. "From the start of the year, all we do is have fun - and I think we've carried that over into the season. It's a huge factor in our success."
The Tigers, 41-and-13, on the year, now faced Lynchburg Saturday at 7:45 p.m. in the double-elimination tournament.