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Breeze back pitching in the playoffs
By Kim Breeze
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–A year after missing the state teenage baseball playoffs because of open-heart surgery, Kemp’s Colton Breeze is heading back to the playoffs, pitching as a member of the Malakoff Brewers.
Last year, Colton’s baseball team, The Buzz, won the division title, then went on to win the end-of-season tournament to determine what teams went to District playoffs.
Colton’s team was runner-up in the District tournament, which meant they were heading to the state playoffs for Texas Teen Age Baseball (TTAB).
However, Colton would not get to play. He was scheduled for open-heart surgery July 25, 2007, and the first playoff game was scheduled the night before his surgery.
The president of TTAB, John Warren, made arrangements for Colton to throw out the opening pitch of the 2007 tournament.
“It was great that our team made it to State, and I loved being able to throw the first pitch, but I wish I was playing,” Colton said.
Colton underwent what is called a Ross procedure to correct a defective aortic valve in his heart. Action movie star and California Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger underwent the same procedure a few years ago.
Surgeons removed Colton’s defective aortic valve, and replaced it with his pulmonary valve.
The aortic valve opens for blood coming out of the heart, and is a high-pressure valve, while the low-pressure pulmonary valve opens to let newly oxygenated blood coming back from the lungs into the heart, where it is pumped back out via the aortic valve to circulate through the body.
Surgeons replaced Colton’s pulmonary valve with a valve harvested from a deceased young male organ donor.
The switched pulmonary valve will grow with him, but the valve from the organ donor will not grow. Colton may face another surgery to replace that valve with a larger one in his late teens, but that depends on how he grows to his adult size.
While Colton’s family, friends and teammates were hoping for a repeat trip to the playoffs, this year Colton’s team did not make it to District, so there was not a shot at going to State with his team.
However, he was drafted by the Malakoff Brewers as a relief pitcher for them in the District tournament, which opens Monday, July 14, in Malakoff.
Colton and his parents have put in a lot of hours on the baseball fields in the dead of winter and the heat of summer to help him develop to this point.
“As soon as his breastbone healed, he was out pitching,” mom Kim Breeze recalled.
His drive and determination have given him the confidence and discipline to overcome what was a life-threatening situation and prosper. Anything is possible with the right motivation and lots of love, dad Michael Breeze said.
When Colton was asked to play for the Brewers, his first response was “yes!”
He loves baseball – thinks it’s the greatest thing ever – and also plans on playing football this fall.

Monitor Photo/Kim Breeze
Colton Breeze fires a pitch during a recent youth baseball contest, a year after
undergoing open-heart surgery to correct a defective heart valve.

Leaping into the scorebook

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Athens Elite baserunner Chelsea Pryor of Cross Roads leaps across home plate
with an inside-the-park home run, as the cutoff throw to Eustace Lady Bulldogs
catcher Catania Grant (12) is too late and short during the first inning of their
Freshman Girls district tournament in Mabank's George Watts Park Monday.


Upcoming games




July 26
Saturday Race Day
Don’s Port 10 a.m.

*District contest


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