UHV Jaguars to help youth baseball in Victoria

University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars baseball will team with four Victoria baseball leagues to help them rebuild after a devastating fire destroyed their equipment.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, the Jaguars will take on Louisiana State University-Alexandria.  Jaguars fans are asked to bring monetary donations to the ballpark, where representatives from Victoria’s Northwest, Southeast and Southwest Little Leagues and the Victoria Challenger League for special-needs children will be on hand.

Money raised will help buy new equipment to replace what was lost in a fire started Thanksgiving Day weekend at the Little League complex in Riverside Park. The arsonist has not been caught.

The Jaguars Athletics Department also will give back to the programs.  Proceeds from the Jaguars raffle that day will be shared with the four leagues.

“This is a great way to give back to some of our biggest fans,” Athletics Director Ashley Walychow said.  “You see a lot of Little Leaguers at our games.  Who knows, down the road, some of these kids may put on a Jaguars uniform.”

Challenger League participant Zach Oracion, 10, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.

“Money raised will be used to purchase catcher’s equipment, bags, helmets, balls and other equipment necessary to play games,” Northwest Little League President Greg Cummings said. “These are the items that the kids need in order to play. Without them, we won’t be able to have a season.”

Players in the Victoria teenage leagues also lost their equipment in the blaze, he said. The Little League and Challenger League seasons will begin in late March.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ashley Walyuchow