The Texas Collegiate Baseball League opens its second season this Saturday, June 4, when the Mineral Wells Steam and the Weatherford Wranglers play at 7:05 p.m.
It will be the first game under the lights at Weatherford College's Roger Williams Ballpark. The light installation was completed earlier this week. The Wranglers played all of their 2004 home games at 5:35 p.m.
The home and home series between the Wranglers and Steam continues on Sunday at 7:05 p.m. at Pratt Field in Mineral Wells.
The remainder of the league schedule begins on Tuesday night with the following games:
McKinney at Coppell, 7:35 p.m.
Highland Park at Euless, 7:35 p.m.
Denton at Weatherford, 7:05 p.m.
Mineral Wells at Graham, 7:05 p.m.
The game in Euless will be the debut of the LoneStars at the Parks at Texas Star.
The summer wooden bat league will feature over 200 of the nations top collegiate prospects from more than 85 different schools around the country. The TCL is comprised of teams in eight different North Texas communities, ranging from McKinney in the East to Graham in the West.
Regular season play continues through Sunday, July 31. Two rounds of best of three playoff series follow. The Coppell Copperheads defeated the Graham Roughnecks in three games for the 2004 TCL championship.
The Texas Collegiate League will also have a pair of in-season special events. The Brookshires-McCormick TCL All-Star Game will be played on Monday, July 11 at Gabe Nesbitt Field in McKinney, featuring all-star squads from the Tris Speaker and Rogers Hornsby Divisions. The Dr Pepper Futures Game is scheduled for Sunday, July 24 at Ameriquest Field in Arlington following the Texas Rangers contest with the Oakland As. Rosters for the Futures Game are comprised of the TCLs top prospects as selected by Major League scouts. Both the All-Star and Futures Games will be televised by Fox Sports Net Southwest.
Tickets for Texas Collegiate League Game can be purchased by contacting any of the leagues eight teams. Full information can be found at www.texascollegiateleague.com. Information on the 2005 Texas Collegiate League:
THE TEAMS: Six of the eight cities that had TCL teams in 2004 return this summer. The LoneStars of the Tris Speaker Division have been relocated from Colleyville-Grapevine to Euless and will play at the Parks at Texas Star. The Denton Outlaws join the league as an expansion team with their home facility being adjacent to the University of North Texas campus. The Outlaws replace the Granbury Generals in the Rogers Hornsby Division. The 2005 Division alignment:
THE HEAD COACHES: The TCL welcomes four new head coaches in 2005. Derek Matlock, volunteer assistant at TCU, becomes Dentons first head coach. Hill County C.C. assistant K.J. Ellis takes over in Graham. Highland Park will be guided by Southwest Missouri State volunteer assistant Sam Carel. Shawn Hughes, assistant coach at Cisco Junior College joins Mineral Wells. The four returning coaches are Jack Giese at Coppell; Bob Townsend at Euless; 2004 TCL Coach of the Year Kyle Hope at McKinney; and Jeff Lightfoot in Weatherford.
Matlock will be with TCU this weekend as the Horned Frogs participate in the NCAA Regionals in Waco.
THE PLAYERS: Schools represented in the TCL this summer include 13 of top 25 colleges in the current Baseball America weekly rankings: Nebraska (3); Cal-State Fullerton (4); Texas (6); Arizona (7); Baylor (8); LSU (13); Rice (14); Clemson (15); Missouri (16); Alabama (18); Florida State (20); North Carolina State (22); and TCU (24). All ten of the Big 12 Conference schools who play varsity baseball will be represented as well as the Division I programs in the DFW Metroplex, Dallas Baptist, TCU, and UTA.
MAJOR LEAGUE FLAVOR: Three sons of former major leaguers are scheduled to play in the TCL this summer. Baylor LHP Drew Jeffcoat, son of former pitcher Mike Jeffcoat will pitch for Euless, where his father will be the pitching coach. Catcher Stephen Puhl of St. Edwards University and the son of former outfielder Terry Puhl, will be with Highland Park. Former pitcher Jeff Russells son, James, a LHP at Navarro Junior College, will be on the Coppell staff.
The Street twins from the University of Texas, lefty Jordon and righty Juston, will play for the Denton Outlaws. Their brother, Huston is a reliever with the Oakland As.
McKinneys coaching staff features a pair of ex big leaguers, pitcher Mike Henneman, also the team Owner and President, and outfielder Jack Clark. The General Manager at Euless is Scott Livingstone, former major league infielder. Other former major leaguers involved in TCL team ownership are OF Mike Dimmel (Coppell) and RHP Todd Van Poppel (Denton). Toronto and Los Angeles pitcher Darren Hall is the TCL Vice President of Baseball Operations.
CONFERENCE HONORS: Texas Collegiate League players receiving post-season honors over the last week:
Big 10 Conference: 3B Scott Gaffney (McKinney), Penn StateAll-Conference, Third Team
Big 12 Conference: 2B Russell Raley (Graham), OklahomaAll-Conference, Second Team; 2B Justin Colbert (Graham), Oklahoma StateAll-Conference, Honorable Mention
Big West Conference: 1B Justin Baum (Coppell), PacificConference Freshman of the Year; All-Conference, First Team; OF Matt Berezay (Highland Park), PacificAll-Conference, Honorable Mention
Mid-Continent Conference: OF Kelly Minissale (Coppell), Oral RobertsAll-Conference, First Team
Missouri Valley Conference: 2B Damon Sublett (Coppell), Wichita StateConference Freshman of the Year; All-Conference, Second Team
Mountain West Conference: 3B Jay Brossman (Mineral Wells), UtahAll-Conference, First Team
Southeastern Conference: OF Clint Arnold (Weatherford), ArkansasAll-Freshman Team
Southland Conference: 2B Isaias Garcia (Euless), Sam HoustonConference Newcomer of the Year; All-Conference, Second Team; OF Dustin Martin (Graham), Sam HoustonAll-Conference, Third Team; INF Collin DeLome (Graham), LamarAll-Conference, Honorable Mention; OF Charlie Kingery (Highland Park), McNeese St.All Conference, Honorable Mention; OF Matt Lambeth (Euless), LamaraAll-Conference, Honorable Mention; C Brett Lewis (Denton), UTAAll-Conference, Honorable Mention; RHP Robert Manuel (Highland Park), Sam HoustonAll-Conference, Honorable Mention
Western Athletic Conference: OF Tyler Henley (Euless), RiceAll-Conference, First Team; RHP Eddie Degerman (Denton), RiceAll-Conference, Second Team
NCAA BOUND: TCL players from 22 universities will participate in the 2005 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament, which begins this weekend. Those schools include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Cal State-Fullerton, Clemson, Florida St., Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina St., Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oral Roberts, Rice, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Stanford, TCU, Texas, and Wichita St.
TCL BASEBALL MAGAZINE DEBUTS ON JUNE 11: The Texas Collegiate League will have a weekly 30-minute television program for the second year on Fox Sports Net Southwest. TCL Baseball Magazine will include features, interviews, and highlights on the league. The program will be hosted by Scott Franzke of the Texas Rangers radio network and will be produced by Jeff Watts Productions of Fort Worth.
TCL Baseball Magazine will air for ten consecutive weeks beginning on June 11. The program will be aired on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. with a rebroadcast on Mondays at 12 noon.