As winter temperatures engulfed much of the country, the Texas Collegiate League conjured warmer thoughts by announcing its 2015 schedule Monday.
The 60-game slate will open on Thursday, May 28, when all six teams will be in action. The two-time defending champion Brazos Valley Bombers will open their title defense on the road against the Woodlands Strykers. The Acadiana Cane Cutters host the Victoria Generals, who have reached the TCL Championship Series three years in row. The East Texas Pump Jacks will visit the Texas Marshals.
Two days later, the Generals return to Victoria for their home opener against the Bombers in a rematch of the last two championship series.
Brazos Valley opens its home schedule on June 2 when it welcomes East Texas to town. The Pump Jacks will be the final team to play at home, hosting the Cane Cutters on June 4.
This is the fifth season the TCL has employed a 60-game schedule in a split-season format. The first half will conclude on July 1, after the 30th scheduled game for all teams. When play resumes on July 2, all win-loss records will return to 0-0 for the beginning of the second half.
The schedule retains the balanced format used for the last two years. All teams will play three successive two-game series each week. Monday will serve as a league-wide off-day throughout the summer. Each team will make three, two-game visits to all other cities during the season.
The 2015 TCL All-Star Game is scheduled for Tuesday, July 7. The circuit’s best players will gather for the event, which will take place just one week before major league baseball’s midsummer classic.
The regular season concludes on Friday, August 7, followed by the TCL playoffs.
The top two teams in the standings in each half will earn postseason berths. The pair of clubs that clinch a playoff spot in the first half will secure home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Should a team repeat in both the first and second halves, the next-best overall record will earn a wild-card playoff spot.
The Bombers, who last season became the first TCL team to win consecutive league titles, were crowned the summer collegiate national champion in 2013 by Perfect Game. Brazos Valley was again named one of the country’s top teams last summer.
Individual team schedules will be released and posted by each team. The complete league schedule will be posted shortly on the official TCL website, tclbaseball.com.
The Texas Collegiate League began play in 2004 and quickly became one of the top summer collegiate leagues in the nation. Perfect Game has ranked a TCL team among the top-10 summer collegiate teams in the country each of the last three years, highlighted by Brazos Valley’s national championship in 2013. More than 300 former TCL players have been drafted by major league teams and no fewer than a dozen have played in the big leagues. TCL alumni have participated in the last five World Series, including Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt, who helped lead the San Francisco Giants to titles in 2012 and 2014. More information about the league can be found on the TCL’s official website, tclbaseball.com.