Army veteran, umpire honored to throw out first pitch in Tarkington tournament

Tyler Skrabanek is used to being on the other side of the baseball as an umpire. On Saturday, he threw out the first pitch in the District 7 12U tournament hosted by Tarkington Baseball and Softball Association.

Army veteran Tyler Skrabanek threw out the first pitch to kick off the Tarkington Baseball and Softball Association’s District 7 12U Division tournament on Saturday, June 18.

Skrabanek served in the United States Army from February 2010 to October 2013. During that time, he earned the Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Volunteer Service Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. He was a chaplain’s assistant, communications specialist and commander’s driver. He was stationed in Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Skrabanek, a Dayton native who lives in the Atascocita area, is known to TBSA through his work as an umpire for baseball and basketball games.

Tarkington and Hardin-Jefferson teams watch for the game-opening pitch in a District 7 12U Division tournament on Saturday, June 18.

Closing the game Monday night, June 20, was Troy Edwin Lunsford, a Houston firefighter from 1959 to 1993, and a district chief from 1978 to 1993. Lunsford is a Tarkington native. He pitched the opening pitch of the championship game by throwing the ball to his great-grandson, Luke Walker, also of Tarkington. Walker is a member of the Tarkington 12U All-Star Team.

Saturday’s kickoff game also was an opportunity for TBSA to show off its fields, which had been prepared for the tournament by TBSA President Ricky Massie, Board Member and Facilities Director Buddy Smith and other volunteers.

Luke Walker catches a pitch from his great-grandfather, Troy Lunsford, during the District 7 12U Championship Game on Monday.

Five teams played in the tournament with Tarkington and Hardin-Jefferson kicking off the series in the first game. The tournament ended with Hardin-Jefferson in first place, East Chambers in second, Tarkington in third, Anahuac in fourth and Coldspring in fifth.

Tarkington Coach Timothy Magee said the 12U tournament is one of the toughest district tournaments in all of Texas.

TSBA officials worked hard to get the fields in pristine condition in time for the District 7 12U Division tournament on Saturday, June 18.

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