Pence Photo Credit: Karen Warren: Chronicle
The Texas Collegiate League is very proud to have our second alumni in history play in the majors. Hunter Pence made his major league debut last Saturday and continues to swing the bat well going 3-for-7 in his first two games and .267 (4-for-15) on the year. Mark Lowe, who was the first TCL alum to play in the majors, was placed on the 60-day disabled list following elbow surgery in spring training. He could return to
Seattle 's bullpen in July or August.
Being the only two TCL alumni to make it to the “bigs” so far is not the only thing these two have in common. Pence and Lowe both played for TCL’s now defunct Highland Park Blue Sox, were teammates at UT-Arlington and both got drafted in the 2004 MLB Draft. The two were actually really close friends, but since they started playing pro ball it grew harder to keep in touch.
“We don’t get the chance to talk much anymore, but I always keep an eye on his stats to see how he is doing,” Pence said.
They will have the opportunity to be reunited soon as the Mariners visit
Houston in a three game interleague series starting June 15th. Due to Lowe being on the DL, the first MLB face-off with Pence and Lowe will have to wait until...maybe the World Series??
Mavericks in the TCL
UT-Arlington has always been well represented in the TCL. Over 15 Mavericks have played in the TCL and are attempting to follow in the footsteps of Pence and Lowe. Players like Danny Slinkman (Wichita Falls Roughnecks 2006-2007), RJ Harris (Wichita Falls Roughnecks 2006-2007), David Masters (Denton Outlaws 2007) and now TCU first baseman Ben Burum (Mineral Wells Steam 2006-2007) are playing in the TCL to put their game on a pedestal for MLB scouts. Who will be the next Maverick to become a TCL alumnus to make it to the big leagues?
Gary Poynter (Weatherford Wranglers 2006-2007) from
College has been named Pitcher of the Week for the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference this week.
The 6-foot-3 sophomore from Flower Mound pitched a complete game shutout against
Vernon , allowing just one hit in seven innings while striking out five. For the season, Poynter is 3-4 with a 3.78 ERA and 48 strikeouts. Last summer, Poynter was awarded as a 2006 TCL All-Star going 1-2 with an impressive 2.25 ERA and 26 strikeouts on the season. He is signed to return to the Wranglers for the 2007 season.
Poynter was drafted by the Texas Rangers last year in the 37th round. He has signed to play at the
Oklahoma next year.
Here is a look around the nation at stand-out performances by Texas Collegiate League players this week. Stats are through games as of May 3, 2007.
Jess Todd (Coppell Copperheads 2006) recorded his second straight complete-game road win on Sunday with an 8-1 win at
Auburn were he allowed six hits and fanned eight. Todd has allowed just three earned runs over the last two starts (18 innings) for a 1.50 ERA.
Wade Mackey (Mineral Wells Steam 2006) tossed a complete-game shutout, and Baylor scored three second-inning runs on four two-out singles as the Bears defeated No. 23 TCU 3-0. The 2006 TCL All-Star only gave up two hits and struck out five over a masterful nine innings.
Ryan Goins (Mineral Wells Steam) pitched 3.1 innings, allowed no hits, no runs, and struck out five against Texas Pan America.
Austin Knight (Colleyville LoneStars) had an impressive series against
UT-Pan last weekend going 4-for-9 (.444).
The Wildcats got a solid performance from Trevor Hurley (Colleyville LoneStars) but KSU came up short in the end. Hurley earned his first career Big 12 start on Saturday and was very solid through four-plus innings. The sophomore scattered four hits through 4.2 innings.
Allen Harrington (McKinney Marshals 2006-2007) allowed just four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in nine innings of work against
State . The 2006 TCL All-Star, who is 7-3 this year, allowed only one Bobcat base runner to reach third base.
T.J. Mittelstaedt (Brazos Valley Bombers) had a stand-out series against Pacific going 7-for-12 (.583) with 7 runs scored. In the 14 inning game on Sunday, Mittelstaedt carried the Dirt Bags to victory with five hits on the day.
Junior Heath Taylor (Denton Outlaws) was added to the field of candidates aiming for the 2007 Brooks Wallace College Player of the Year Award, as announced by the College Baseball Foundation in
Lubbock, Texas on Wednesday, May 2. The list was reduced to the top 112 NCAA players and included the Sooners’ left-handed hurler, who is 7-2 this season with 62 strikeouts and a 3.61 ERA.
Chance Corgan (Euless LoneStars 2005) tossed seven strong innings to help lead the Frogs to victory against
State . Corgan, who is 6-1 on the season, finished the game allowing just the one run, six hits, walked one and struck out five. Teammate Steven Maxwell (Denton Outlaws) closed out the game, pitching two scoreless innings. He didn't give up a hit and struck out one.
Kyle Nicholson (Weatherford Wranglers 2006) has been named one of 50 semi-finalists for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and is also on the Clemens Award Watch List. He is 10-1 with a miniscule ERA of 1.34 in 86 2/3 innings and has been named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week twice.