All they do is win.
That has been a mantra for the duo of Pony League Cardinals coach Nathan Applequist and son William for the past two seasons.
Accumulating a record of 21-0-1 in two seasons, including back-to-back championships, the latter of which came in a victory Thursday night for the Pony League title, Nathan has seen his son succeed on the field over time.
“It’s amazing watching him succeed,” Nathan said. “He’s struggled for years, but he has put it together the last few years. Watching him is something my wife and I really enjoy.”
William has indeed put it together, pitching a number of no-hitters, including a no-hitter as part of 12-0 win on May 15.
“I’ve thrown a few,” William said. “It feels pretty cool to throw those and win as many games as we have.”
The soon-to-be 16-year-old William is usually striking out batters with a fastball, curveball combination.
Other times, he is a big target at first base or will man the hot corner.
It hasn’t always been about baseball for William, however.
Growing up in the small Missouri town of Grovespring, baseball wasn’t an option for William.
There were just 1,000 people in Grovespring.
The nearest town, Lebanon, Missouri, which has about 14,000 people, was about 22 miles away.
William didn’t play baseball until about seven years ago when the Applequist’s moved to Conway.
During that time, Nathan has coached his son throughout.
“It’s been amazing coaching him,” he said. “This has been one of the more enjoyable things I’ve done. It’s been a great experience.”
William has enjoyed playing for his dad.
“It’s nice because he understands the pain I feel at times,” he said. “He does a great job of taking care of us. Since I’m his son, it’s like I have a bunch of brothers because he treats everyone like his son.”
Those brothers helped William close the door on his Pony League career with a championship win Thursday, coming from behind to win the game.
Gage Johnson, 14, came in for relief for William, shutting the door on runner-up Orioles, while the offense came through to win the game in the final inning.
Those brothers have helped William and Nathan combine for two undefeated seasons.
Oh, and the tie? It came in the first game of this season, as part of a 10-10 game against the Red Sox.
From that point on, the closest game the Cardinals played in was a 6-2 win over those same Red Sox on April 24.
Now that William and Nathan have played their final game together, William is looking toward playing for Conway.
“It’s a lot of running, but I would really like to play for Conway,” he said.