Texas Collegiate League

Premium Summer Ball, TExas Style

League News

TCL ABUZZ WITH TUSSLES FOR PLAYOFFS, JOCKEYING FOR HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE

FORT WORTH—Texas Collegiate League dugouts and stands alike are abuzz with talk of impending playoffs and finishes to clinch home field advantage in the Aug. 7-9 (if necessary third games) postseason division rounds and the Aug. 11-13 (if necessary third games) championship series.

One thing is certain through Aug. 1 bouts: Denton has clinched both the Rogers Hornsby Division crown for the second year in a row and home field advantage for the Hornsby Division best 2-of-3 series starting Monday.

Three other teams are in the thick of the race for the second berth in that division’s playoff picture prior to Wednesday outings. Mineral Wells (19-25), Graham (18-26) and Weatherford (18-26) are within one game in the standings of one another with four contests left in the regular campaign. The race is similar to 2005 when Weatherford and Graham both finished 20-28 in the 48-game slate, and the Wranglers prevailed by head-to-head competition.

Things are just as wired in the Tris Speaker Division as both McKinney and Coppell are 28-16 through Tuesday tilts atop the standings. Stubborn Euless (25-19) still has a mathematical shot at first or second place with four tests on the schedule prior to its Thursday home game with the Marshals. The Copperheads closed three games ahead of McKinney in 2005 final standings (31-17 to 28-20) before the Marshals swept the division playoffs with 6-3 and 3-1 wins over the Copperheads.

Pitching dominated all three 2005 postseason series as McKinney allowed just four runs to usually-productive Coppell in their two-game set, and Denton limited Weatherford to three runs in a 3-2 and 4-1 sweep of the Wranglers.

The ’05 championship produced a pair of one-run verdicts – Denton’s 5-4 triumph at McKinney in 10 innings during Game One and the Marshals’ 2-1 return triumph at Denton. The final produced a 3-1 clinching win for the Outlaws in spite of a playoff-record 15 strikeouts (equaled just one other time in the three-year history of TCL regular or postseason play by Coppell’s Jess Todd of Navarro) by Texas A&M’s Austin Creps. Denton’s Corey Kluber (Stetson) made his winning start count for coach Derek Matlock’s charges with a three-hit, five-strikeout showing over eight innings in the Aug. 7, 2005, finale.

Mound workers will have similarly-large anticipated roles in the 2006 playoffs as home runs have been harder to hit with a plethora of solid arms this summer.

A recent example is TCU freshman Taylor Cragin of Euless with a 4-1 triumph over the Plano Blue Sox Tuesday night in Plano’s home closer. The young righty advanced to 6-0 after retiring the first 19 Blue Sox batsmen and moved to within one win of tying McKinney’s Allen Harrington (Lamar) for the most wins in the league to date.

Coppell’s Todd also enters his final week with a TCL-high 83 strikeouts – just ahead of Donald Furrow (69 whiffs) of Weatherford and TCU. Harrington enters Wednesday night action in third place in the strikeouts’ category with 68 while following among the league Ks’ leaders are Seth Garrison of Duncanville and Navarro with 64 and Randy Boone of Coppell and Texas with 60.

Hurlers who have taken their squads to the brink of the playoffs include (along with Harrington and Cragin) Boone (6-0, 0.87 ERA), Joseph Krebs (5-0, 1.83) of Coppell and Texas, Jonathan Runnels (5-3, 2.56) of McKinney and San Jacinto JC, Will Skelton (4-0, 2.57) of Denton and TCU, Andrew Benedict (2-1, 2.18) of Mineral Wells and Texas-San Antonio, relief ace Alex Chalfant (2-1, 1.50) of Graham and UNLV, and Ty’Relle Harris (5-2, 3.69) of McKinney and Pacific.

Swinging the big bats for potential playoff teams as they enter their final four outings are McKinney’s Matt Cavagnaro (.361-1 HR-21 RBI) of Penn State, Denton’s Aljay Davis (.353-2 HR-25 RBI) of Oklahoma, Graham’s Jarod Freeman (.341-3 HR-28 RBI) of Oklahoma, Euless’ Aaron Luna (.333-1 HR-12 RBI) of Rice, Coppell’s Tyler Hill (.317-0 HR-18 RBI) of Wichita State, and Mineral Wells’ Nick Santos (.286-2 HR-12 RBI) of Dallas Baptist, among others.


Search Archive »





Browse by Month »

August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
December 2016
November 2016
August 2016
July 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
August 2015
July 2015
November 2014
August 2014
July 2014
May 2014
April 2014
November 2013
August 2013
July 2013
May 2013
March 2013
November 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
November 2011
October 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
March 2011
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
April 2008
February 2008
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005