BOSQUEVILLE, Texas — Superstition and tradition are as much a part of baseball as strikeouts and pop flies. In Bosqueville, the Bulldogs hope their good luck charm, an owl statue named Tyrone, will continue to bring success on their playoff run.
Tyrone originally served as a scarecrow on the team's field, aimed at deterring birds from the fresh rye grass.
"It didn't work," Bosqueville Head Coach David Anderson said. "We were getting on the bus to go to De Leon and my senior catcher that year, Will McLellan, hops off the bus and goes 'WE FORGOT TYRONE,' and I was like 'Who's Tyrone."
From that day on, Tyrone has become a key part of the Bosqueville baseball family, joining them on road trips, team dinners and afternoon practices.
"We haven't gone a single practice or game without him since the beginning of practice last year when it got shut down," Jacob Avilla said.
Avilla serves as Tyrone's handler, making sure the owl shows up in the dugout on game days.
"I keep up with him all day every day," Avilla said. "He's with me. He stays in my truck. He sometimes comes to school with me. But anywhere we go, he's basically with us."
The Bulldogs decorate Tyrone with special chains in the dugout, including a large one with the Bosqueville logo. At practice, it was wearing one with the word "savage."
"He's just looking at the other team's dugout," Bosqueville Sophomore John Youens said. "He's our mascot. He's our man."
Since Tyrone joined the Bulldogs, they have seen a major run of success. Through the first two weeks of the playoffs, Bosqueville has gone 4-0, winning those games by a combined score of 96-1.
"We've just been putting our bat on the ball and playing great defense," Bosqueville Senior Austin Albrecht said. "Our pitchers have been doing amazing, so we have short defensive innings and then we go and our bats are hitting, so we have long offensive innnings."
Bosqueville returns to action in the Regional Quarterfinals Wednesday night against Tolar in Cleburne.