TWO-WEEK WRAP-UP ON TCL BASEBALL
Coppell junior righty Randy Boone of Texas (via Yoakum, Texas) had a season-best 13 strikeouts and a complete-game shutout on a one-hitter as the Copperheads downed Mineral Wells 1-0 on June 20 at Pratt Field.
It was the first complete-game shutout by a TCL hurler since Nate Melek of Highland Park blanked McKinney 2-0 on Aug. 7, 2004, at Gabe Nesbitt Field. Boone walked one hitter as teammates Jeremy Holzbach (Sam Houston) and Tyler Hill (Wichita State) each slapped three singles to lead an 11-hit attack. Four Steam pitchers stranded a season-most 14 Copperheads' runners while allowing one earned run and striking out 12 Coppell batsmen.
The Coppell Copperheads came into week two sizzling with eight consecutive victories that tops the McKinney Marshals' league-record seven-game winning streak from June 17-24 (close to this season's dates), 2004. McKinney and Coppell are tied a top the Tris Speaker Division with a 10-3 record overall. They have posted the best marks of all nine TCL entries.
Defending TCL champ Denton (7-5) tops the Rogers Hornsby Division by one-half game over 6-5 Mineral Wells, and only three games divide fourth-place Weatherford (4-8) from the Outlaws in the loss column among Hornsby competitors.
Penn State's Matt Cavagnaro (McKinney) continues to sizzle at the dish with a league-leading .444 batting average (20-for-41 with one homer and six RBI). Jess Buenger (Texas A&M) of Graham chips in with a .429 average (9-for-21) and second place in the league while Coppell's Holzbach (.424) raised his average above the .400 mark with a 3-for-4 night at Mineral Wells on June 20. Euless catcher Brandon Moss (.429) of Oklahoma began the year later after competing in the NCAA Super Regional in Houston against Rice and has started the year with a 9-for-21 effort and five RBI in six games.
Pitchers continue to work their mastery in the TCL. McKinney's Allen Harrington (Lamar) has 30 strikeouts in his first 19 2/3 innings for 13.7 whiffs every nine innings, and Boone already owns 22 Ks (second on the league individual worksheet) in 15 innings.
Boone joins Denton's Brice Ary (Baylor), McKinney's Mike Gunter (North Central Texas CC), and Euless' Dillon Farish (TCU) and Brett Rosenthal (Yale) as five pitchers who have not surrendered an earned run in a total of 41 2/3 frames. McKinney's Harrington (0.47 ERA with one run given up in 19 2/3 innings) is three points ahead of Weatherford's Donald Furrow (TCU junior lefty via Woomera, South Australia, at 0.50) and Coppell's Joseph Krebs (Texas at 0.60) with ERA under 0.70.
Denton's Evan Bigley (Dallas Baptist) leads the league with three homers at the 10-12-game juncture while college and summer teammate Trevor Head (Denton/DBU) tops the individual RBI ladder with 13. Coppell's Hill has reached base 75 percent of his official times at-bat for a league-best .750 on-base percentage.
There already have been two complete games in 2006 TCL play after no CG went into the books in '05 (there were eight total in 2004 by seven different mound men). Ty'Relle Harris of McKinney via Pacific tops the circuit with three pitching victories while the Marshals' Randall Taylor (Dallas Baptist) owns a season-most four saves. Texas-Arlington freshman RHP Jonathan Gutierrez of Graham tops the TCL with eight pitching appearances.
TCL BUZZ AT NCAA WORLD SERIES;
ALMOST 90 SCHOOLS REPRESENTED ON '06 TEAMS
Texas Collegiate League alumni are making major waves in the first half of the 60th annual NCAA Baseball World Series, and 11 projected members of the Rice Owls started the tournament at 2-0 prior to Wednesday night's semifinal encounter against Oregon State.
Eddie Degerman (2005 Denton/Rice) had a no-hitter going for 6 1/3 innings against Georgia before yielding to fellow TCL alum Bryce Cox (2005 McKinney) in the seventh inning of an eventual 6-4 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference in Round One.
Cox tossed the final 2 2/3 innings of that triumph to advance to 5-1 on the year while picking up a save in a 3-2 win over Miami (Fla.), which entered the national championship week averaging 10 runs a game. Degerman, 13-1 in 19 starts with 167 strikeouts for the 2006 Owls of coach Wayne Graham, is available for more duty during the CWS as the Owls hope to advance to the championship round June 24-26.
Owls' infielder Brian Friday, slated to play for the Duncanville Deputies when his World Series activity ends, leads Rice with a .364 average to go along with nine homers and 57 RBI.
Cal State Fullerton, which fell to North Carolina 7-5 (13 innings) in its 2006 CWS opener before topping and eliminating Clemson 7-6 on June 20, is riding the sturdy shoulders of Texas Collegiate League all-stars 1B Brett Pill and pitcher Lauren Gagnier.
Pill (2004 Graham) and Gagnier (2004 Weatherford) have led the Titans into the semis with heady numbers. Pill is hitting .324 with five homers and 39 RBI for the pitching-rich CSUF crew. Gagnier leads the team with 14 wins (14-5) while he has struck out 103 hitters in 125 innings pitched. The right-hander had taken the mound twice in the World Series despite a recurrent stomach virus.
Oregon State pitcher Jonah Nickerson (2004 Weatherford) has gotten his squad deeper into the NCAA World Series than on any of its previous two trips to Omaha in 1952 and 2005. The 2-1 Beavers rode the mound work of Nickerson (12-4, 2.50 ERA prior to the CWS) into a 5-0 NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals' record before he got the win in a 5-3 verdict over Georgia on June 19; that was OSU's first World Series win in five tries before the school-record seventh overall postseason victory last Tuesday night 8-2 over Miami (Fla.).
In other TCL notes:
-There are 87 schools and 32 Division I-II-III, NAIA or NJCAA conferences represented on rosters on 2006 TCL teams with some temporary contracts still being issued. Rice of Conference USA joins Texas-Arlington of the Southland Conference with 11 players each on 2006 TCL rosters while Baylor (nine), Lamar (nine), Dallas Baptist (eight), Texas (eight), Houston (seven), Texas A&M (seven), and Navarro College (seven) are near the top of the stack in competing players. Last season over 90 schools represented 35 various conferences on the five levels of collegiate baseball before the campaign ended.
-Texas All-Big 12 Conference outfielder Carson Kainer is awaiting a kidney transplant from a family member and likely will miss 2006 summer action. Kainer was scheduled to play this summer for the Weatherford Wranglers.