The Denton Outlaws continued their preparation for the 2005 Texas Collegiate League season by making several announcements on Wednesday.
The Outlaws, who are owned by an investor group headed by Dallas businessman and investor Jim Leslie, make their debut in the second year wooden bat league this summer. The team will play its home games in 2005 at the facility currently being utilized by Liberty Christian School. The ballpark is being completely renovated for this summer to accommodate a seating capacity of up to 3,500.
In addition, the Outlaws announced that the team has reached agreement on a one-year deal with Coldwell Banker New Century Solutions on a naming rights deal for the facility. The park will be called Coldwell Banker New Century Solutions Ballpark. In addition, Coldwell Banker New Century Solutions will be the exclusive and official real estate company of the Outlaws.
Coldwell Banker New Century Solutions Ballpark will be rebuilt to have outfield dimensions of 305 feet at the left field line, 390 feet in center, and 310 feet down the left field line. The facility, which is located adjacent to the new athletic complex at the University of North Texas, will also include a ticket office, concession stands, and increased seating capacity.
The Outlaws are expected to play at Coldwell Banker New Century Ballpark for only one season. The team has entered into agreement with the University of North Texas to build a new baseball stadium on a site just north of its 2005 playing field. Funding is currently being secured for that project, which is hoped to be completed for the summer of 2006.
The Outlaws formally introduced their first head coach, Texas Christian University Volunteer Assistant Coach Derek Matlock. The 36-year-old Matlock joined the Horned Frogs baseball staff this season after a successful high school coaching career in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Matlock guided Flower Mound High School to three consecutive playoff appearances from 2002-04 after starting that program in 1999. Prior to that, he was the head baseball coach at Eastern Hills High School in Fort Worth, earning area coach of the year honors from both the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegram in 1998. Matlocks career high school record is 251-67.
Dentons 2005 roster is headed by righthander Eddie Degerman of Rice. The junior from Granada Hills, California is 4-0 with a 2.49 era and 62 strikeouts in 47 innings with the Owls this spring. He fanned 16 batters, one shy of the school record in a victory over Louisiana Tech in his last outing on Saturday. The Outlaws pitching staff also will include freshman twins Jordon (LHP) and Justin (RHP) Street of the University of Texas. Their brother, Huston, was an all-American at Texas and is currently a member of the Oakland As.
Other Outlaws of note are sophomore outfielder Kern Watts of the University of Evansville, who is batting .344 with 13 stolen bases, sophomore Brett Lewis, who is hitting .285 as the starting catcher at the University of Texas-Arlington, and lefthander Jackie Smith, who leads the University of New Mexico in pitching appearances.
The Outlaws join the Graham Roughnecks, Mineral Wells Steam, and Weatherford Wranglers in the TCLs Rogers Hornsby Division. John Hampton, former area director of the Greater Denton Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serves as the Outlaws General Manager. The team makes its TCL debut on Tuesday, June 7 at Mineral Wells and will play its first of 24 home games on Thursday, June 9 versus Graham. All games start at 7:35 p.m. Tickets and other information can be obtained by calling the Outlaws at 940-465-0845.