Beyond the game: Lucas Humpal, junior pitcher

Senior Sports Reporter

14-year-old Lucas Humpal—now a junior pitcher—and his older brother, Nathan, were in San Antonio for their select team baseball tournament. The team went through the entire bracket to reach the championship game.

The starting pitcher for the team was hurt, and the head coach was concerned. Then the team learned the starting catcher would be ineligible to play as well.

Five players on the opposing team had signed for Division I scholarships.

The coach told the team and parents that they were “out of gas.”

Lucas’ father, Randy, approached the head coach explaining he might want to give Lucas a shot as a catcher and have Nathan on the mound.

“I said, ‘He’s a pretty good catcher,’” Randy said. “And he (the coach) said, ‘I guess we are not really here to win the game. That will be fine.’”

Nathan and Lucas took their positions as the opposing team came up to bat.

“He would actually catch, and I would pitch to him sometimes,” Nathan said. “That was always fun because I would think twice to myself, ‘I don’t know what to call here. What would Lucas call?’ So he calls the pitch and I’m like, ‘That sounds good,’ and it’s like a thought process where you are connected. It was pretty cool growing up.”

The brother duo did not allow more than two hits in the game.

“It was like two brothers out there just on the same page,” Randy said. “Lucas called the game as a catcher, and Nate just came back and threw. I was pretty proud of that.”

The coach, a former MLB pitcher, was dumbfounded by the end of the game.

“Nathan was throwing efficiently, and Coach did not know Lucas could call a game like that,” Randy said. “Lucas is a pitcher but also was a catcher, and he knows the game real well. I wanted him to learn the game more, not to just throw.”

Lucas and Nathan started catching and throwing drills in their backyard in Corpus Christi. Their father taught them each how to swing a bat at three years old. This was the beginning of their hand-eye coordination training.

Randy wanted to make sure they had fun playing baseball instead of focusing on winning and losing.

“(We) were always working together for something,” Nathan said. “If we wanted something out of baseball, we were kind of always working together.”

Follow Sabrina Flores on Twitter @SabrinaFloresTX.