The McKinney Marshals had to like what they saw from a pair of Rice University righthanders in last weekend's Minute Maid College Classic.
Josh Geer and Bryce Cox have excelled for the Owls, ranked 11th in the nation by Collegiate Baseball. Both are scheduled to return to McKinney for the second season of Texas Collegiate League play.
Geer, a junior transfer from Navarro College, wasselected as the outstanding player of the College Classic, held last weekend at Houston's Minute Maid Park. The righthander defeated Texas A&M, 3-1 on February 12, issuing just one hit and an unearned run in eight innings of work. He retired 21 straight batters at one point and induced 16 groundouts to go with his five strikeouts.
In two overall performances this season, Geer, from Forney, Texas, is 2-0 and has not allowed an earned run in 12 innings. For his efforts, he was selected as the Western Athletic Conference pitcher of the week for February 7-13. Geer was 3-3, 3.00 in 10 appearances for McKinney last summer.
Cox has been equally impressive in the closer's role for Rice, working five scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and a pair of saves in his four overall appearances. The junior transfer from Paris Junior College had a 2.77 era and a 2-1 record in 16 outings for the Marshals in 2004.
A third player slated to go to McKinney this summer, junior transfer Greg Buchanan has started five games at third for Rice to date.
Other TCL player performances of note from the early days of play:
ARKANSAS: Several TCL-bound players have had key roles in the 24th ranked Razorbacks 4-0 start. Outfuielder Clint Arnold (Weatherford) is 5-15 (.333) with three rbi. Designated hitter Danny Hamblin (Coppell) has a .294 average (5-17) in the four contests. On the hill, righthander Daryl Maday (Highland Park) retired all 15 batters he faced in relief to earn a 2-1 victory over Texas-Arlington on February 13 (1st game). In the nightcap of that doubleheader, lefty Devon Collis (Graham) hurled four shutout innings in a starting role as the Razorbacks completed the sweep.
FLORIDA STATE: Shortstop Nick Francis (Coppell) has started six of ninr games at shortstop for the 11th ranked Seminoles (8-1). Francis was a third team All-State selection in his senior year at Godby High in Tallahassee.
OKLAHOMA STATE: Infielder Justin Colbert (Graham) is tied for the Big 12 Conference lead with four stolen bases. Colbert is a transfer from Seminole State College and hit .288 at Graham last summer.
TEXAS: Six-foot-10 freshman righthander Kenn Kasparek (McKinney) issued three hits and no runs in six innings to defeat, UT-San Antonio, 10-0 on February 15, improving the top-ranked Longhorns record to 8-0.
TEXAS TECH: Outfielder Chris Williams (Coppell) tops the Big 12 Conference with eight walks. Williams returns to the Copperheads for a second summer after batting .285 with three homers and 21 rbi in 2004.
WAKE FOREST: Righthander Kyle Young (Euless) has pitched three scoreless innings while working in three of the Demon Deacons' first four games. Right Charlie Mellies (Euless) is 0-1, 5.19 in two games/one start.
LOOKING BACK: Several 2004 TCL performers are among the 65 players on Wallace Watch, which was issued on February 15 by the College Baseball Foundation. The Brooks Wallace Award will be presented to the 2005 College Baseball Player of the Year in June.
The list includes TCU's Shelby Ford (Coppell), UTA's Michael Gardner (Graham), South Florida's Matt McHargue (Granbury), and Evansville's Erik Lis (Colleyville-Grapevine), the 2004 Texas Collegiate League Player of the Year.